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English language - Dictionaries B...

                         Oxford English Reference

                      British Library Cataloguing Data
         The concise Oxford dictionary of current English.--8th ed.
                     1. English language--Dictionaries
                 I. Allen, R. E. (Robert Edward), 1944-423
                       ISBN 0-19-861243-5 thumb index
                          ISBN 0-19-861200-1 plain

1.0 B...

   B(1)      n.  (also b) (pl.  Bs or B's) 1 the second letter of the
             alphabet.  2 Mus. the seventh note of the diatonic scale of C
             major.  3 the second hypothetical person or example.  4 the
             second highest class or category (of roads, academic marks,
             etc.).  5 Algebra (usu.  b) the second known quantity.  6 a
             human blood type of the ABO system.  ЬB film a supporting film
             in a cinema programme.

   B(2)      symb.  1 Chem. the element boron.  2 Physics magnetic flux

   B(3)      abbr.  (also B.) 1 Bachelor.  2 bel(s).  3 bishop.  4 black
             (pencil-lead).  5 Blessed.

   b         symb.  Physics barn.

   b.        abbr.  1 born.  2 Cricket a bowled by.  b bye.  3 billion.

2.0 BA...

   BA        abbr.  1 Bachelor of Arts.  2 British Academy.  3 British
             Airways.  4 British Association.

   Ba        symb.  Chem.  the element barium.

   BAA       abbr.  British Airports Authority.

   baa       v. & n.  --v.intr.  (baas, baaed or baa'd) (esp. of a sheep)
             bleat.  --n.  (pl.  baas) the cry of a sheep or lamb.  [imit.]

   baas      n.  S.Afr.  boss, master (often as a form of address).  [Du.:
             cf.  BOSS(1)]

   baasskap  n.  S.Afr.  domination, esp. of non-Whites by Whites.  [Afrik.
             f.  baas master + -skap condition]

   baba      n. (in full rum baba) a small rich sponge cake, usu. soaked in
             rum-flavoured syrup.  [F f. Pol.]

   babacoote n.  = INDRI.  [Malagasy babakoto]

             n.  1 (in full Babbitt metal) any of a group of soft alloys of
             tin, antimony, copper, and usu. lead, used for lining bearings
             etc., to diminish friction.  2 (babbitt) a bearing-lining made
             of this.  [I.  Babbitt, Amer. inventor d. 1862]

             n.  a materialistic, complacent businessman.  ЬЬBabbittry n.
             [George Babbitt, a character in the novel Babbitt (1922) by S.

   babble    v. & n.  --v.  1 intr.  a talk in an inarticulate or incoherent
             manner.  b chatter excessively or irrelevantly.  c (of a stream
             etc.) murmur, trickle.  2 tr. repeat foolishly; divulge through
             chatter.  --n.  1 a incoherent speech.  b foolish, idle, or
             childish talk.  2 the murmur of voices, water, etc.  3 Telephony
             background disturbance caused by interference from conversations
             on other lines.  ЬЬbabblement n.  [ME f. MLG babbelen, or imit.]

   babbler   n.  1 a chatterer.  2 a person who reveals secrets.  3 any of a
             large group of passerine birds with loud chattering voices.

   babe      n.  1 literary a baby.  2 an innocent or helpless person (babes
             and sucklings; babes in the wood).  3 US sl. a young woman
             (often as a form of address).  [ME: imit. of child's ba, ba]

   babel     n.  1 a confused noise, esp. of voices.  2 a noisy assembly.  3
             a scene of confusion.  ЬTower of Babel a visionary or
             unrealistic plan.  [ME f. Heb.  Babel Babylon f. Akkad.  bab ili
             gate of god (with ref. to the biblical account of the tower that
             was built to reach heaven but ended in chaos when Jehovah
             confused the builders' speech: see Gen. 11)]

   Babis     n.  a member of a Persian eclectic sect founded in 1844 whose
             doctrine includes Muslim, Christian, Jewish, and Zoroastrian
             elements.  ЬЬBabism n.  [Pers.  Bab-ed-Din, gate (=
             intermediary) of the Faith]

   baboon    n.  1 any of various large Old World monkeys of the genus Papio,
             having a long doglike snout, large teeth, and naked callosities
             on the buttocks.  2 an ugly or uncouth person.  [ME f. OF babuin
             or med.L babewynus, of unkn. orig.]

   babu      n.  (also baboo) Ind.  1 a title of respect, esp. to Hindus.  2
             derog. formerly, an English-writing Indian clerk.  [Hindi babu]

   babushka  n.  a headscarf tied under the chin.  [Russ., = grandmother]

   baby      n. & v.  --n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 a very young child or infant, esp.
             one not yet able to walk.  2 an unduly childish person (is a
             baby about injections).  3 the youngest member of a family,
             team, etc.  4 (often attrib.) a a young or newly born animal.  b
             a thing that is small of its kind (baby car; baby rose).  5 sl.
             a young woman; a sweetheart (often as a form of address).  6 sl.
             a person or thing regarded with affection or familiarity.  7
             one's own responsibility, invention, concern, achievement, etc.,
             regarded in a personal way.  --v.tr.  (-ies, -ied) 1 treat like
             a baby.  2 pamper.  Ьbaby boom colloq.  a temporary marked
             increase in the birthrate.  baby boomer a person born during a
             baby boom, esp. after the war of 1939-45.  baby-bouncer Brit.  a
             frame supported by elastic or springs, into which a child is
             harnessed to exercise its limbs.  Baby Buggy (pl.  -ies) Brit.
             propr.  a kind of child's collapsible pushchair.  baby carriage
             US a pram.  baby grand the smallest size of grand piano.
             baby-snatcher colloq.  1 a person who kidnaps babies.  2 =
             cradle-snatcher.  baby-talk childish talk used by or to young
             children.  baby-walker a wheeled frame in which a baby learns to
             walk.  carry (or hold) the baby bear unwelcome responsibility.
             throw away the baby with the bath-water reject the essential
             with the inessential.  ЬЬbabyhood n.  [ME, formed as BABE,

   Babygro   n.  (pl.  -os) propr.  a kind of all-in-one stretch garment for
             babies.  [BABY + GROW]

   babyish   adj.  1 childish, simple.  2 immature.  ЬЬbabyishly adv.
             babyishness n.

             n. & adj.  --n. an inhabitant of Babylon, an ancient city and
             kingdom in Mesopotamia.  --adj. of or relating to Babylon.  [L
             Babylonius f. Gk Babulonios f.  Babulon f. Heb.  Babel]

   babysit   v.intr.  (-sitting; past and past part.  -sat) look after a
             child or children while the parents are out.  ЬЬbabysitter n.

   Bacardi   n.  (pl.  Bacardis) propr.  a West Indian rum produced orig. in
             Cuba.  [name of the company producing it]

             n.  1 the university degree of bachelor.  2 an examination
             intended to qualify successful candidates for higher education.
             [F baccalaur‚at or med.L baccalaureatus f.  baccalaureus

   baccarat  n.  a gambling card-game played by punters in turn against the
             banker.  [F]

   baccate   adj.  Bot.  1 bearing berries.  2 of or like a berry.  [L
             baccatus berried f.  bacca berry]

   bacchanal n. & adj.  --n.  1 a wild and drunken revelry.  2 a drunken
             reveller.  3 a priest, worshipper, or follower of Bacchus.
             --adj.  1 of or like Bacchus, the Greek or Roman god of wine, or
             his rites.  2 riotous, roistering.  [L bacchanalis f.  Bacchus
             god of wine f. Gk Bakkhos]

             n.pl.  1 the Roman festival of Bacchus.  2 (bacchanalia) a
             drunken revelry.  ЬЬBacchanalian adj. & n.  [L, neut. pl. of
             bacchanalis: see BACCHANAL]

   bacchant  n. & adj.  --n.  (pl.  bacchants or bacchantes; fem.  bacchante)
             1 a priest, worshipper, or follower of Bacchus.  2 a drunken
             reveller.  --adj.  1 of or like Bacchus or his rites.  2
             riotous, roistering.  ЬЬbacchantic adj.  [F bacchante f. L
             bacchari celebrate Bacchanal rites]

   Bacchic   adj.  = BACCHANAL adj.  [L bacchicus f. Gk bakkhikos of Bacchus]

   baccy     n.  (pl.  -ies) Brit.  colloq.  tobacco.  [abbr.]

   bachelor  n.  1 an unmarried man.  2 a man or woman who has taken the
             degree of Bachelor of Arts or Science etc.  3 hist. a young
             knight serving under another's banner.  Ьbachelor girl an
             independent unmarried young woman.  bachelor's buttons any of
             various button-like flowers, esp. the double buttercup.
             ЬЬbachelorhood n.  bachelorship n.  [ME & OF bacheler aspirant
             to knighthood, of uncert. orig.]

   bacillary adj.  relating to or caused by bacilli.

             adj.  rod-shaped.

   bacillus  n.  (pl.  bacilli) 1 any rod-shaped bacterium.  2 (usu. in pl.)
             any pathogenic bacterium.  [LL, dimin. of L baculus stick]

   back      n., adv., v., & adj.  --n.  1 a the rear surface of the human
             body from the shoulders to the hips.  b the corresponding upper
             surface of an animal's body.  c the spine (fell and broke his
             back).  d the keel of a ship.  2 a any surface regarded as
             corresponding to the human back, e.g. of the head or hand, or of
             a chair.  b the part of a garment that covers the back.  3 a the
             less active or visible or important part of something
             functional, e.g. of a knife or a piece of paper (write it on the
             back).  b the side or part normally away from the spectator or
             the direction of motion or attention, e.g. of a car, house, or
             room (stood at the back).  4 a a defensive player in field
             games.  b this position.  5 (the Backs) the grounds of Cambridge
             colleges which back on to the River Cam.  --adv.  1 to the rear;
             away from what is considered to be the front (go back a bit; ran
             off without looking back).  2 a in or into an earlier or normal
             position or condition (came back late; went back home; ran back
             to the car; put it back on the shelf).  b in return (pay back).
             3 in or into the past (back in June; three years back).  4 at a
             distance (stand back from the road).  5 in check (hold him
             back).  6 (foll. by of) US behind (was back of the house).  --v.
             1 tr.  a help with moral or financial support.  b bet on the
             success of (a horse etc.).  2 tr. & intr. move, or cause (a
             vehicle etc.) to move, backwards.  3 tr.  a put or serve as a
             back, background, or support to.  b Mus. accompany.  4 tr. lie
             at the back of (a beach backed by steep cliffs).  5 intr. (of
             the wind) move round in an anticlockwise direction.  --adj.  1
             situated behind, esp. as remote or subsidiary (backstreet; back
             teeth).  2 of or relating to the past; not current (back pay;
             back issue).  3 reversed (back flow).  Ьat a person's back in
             pursuit or support.  at the back of one's mind remembered but
             not consciously thought of.  back and forth to and fro.  back
             bench a back-bencher's seat in the House of Commons.
             back-bencher a member of Parliament not holding a senior office.
             back-boiler Brit.  a boiler behind and integral with a domestic
             fire.  back-breaking (esp. of manual work) extremely hard.  back
             country esp.  Austral. & NZ an area away from settled districts.
             back-crawl = BACKSTROKE.  back-cross Biol.  1 cross a hybrid
             with one of its parents.  2 an instance or the product of this.
             back door a secret or ingenious means of gaining an objective.
             back-door adj.  (of an activity) clandestine, underhand
             (back-door deal).  back down withdraw one's claim or point of
             view etc.; concede defeat in an argument etc.  back-down n.  an
             instance of backing down.  back-fill refill an excavated hole
             with the material dug out of it.  back-formation 1 the formation
             of a word from its seeming derivative (e.g.  laze from lazy).  2
             a word formed in this way.  back number 1 an issue of a
             periodical earlier than the current one.  2 sl. an out-of-date
             person or thing.  the back of beyond a very remote or
             inaccessible place.  back off 1 draw back, retreat.  2 abandon
             one's intention, stand, etc.  back on to have its back adjacent
             to (the house backs on to a field).  back out (often foll. by
             of) withdraw from a commitment.  back passage colloq.  the
             rectum.  back-pedal (-pedalled, -pedalling; US -pedaled,
             -pedaling) 1 pedal backwards on a bicycle etc.  2 reverse one's
             previous action or opinion.  back-projection the projection of a
             picture from behind a translucent screen for viewing or filming.
             back room (often (with hyphen) attrib.) a place where secret
             work is done.  back-scattering the scattering of radiation in a
             reverse direction.  back seat an inferior position or status.
             back-seat driver a person who is eager to advise without
             responsibility (orig.  of a passenger in a car etc.).  back
             slang slang using words spelt backwards (e.g.  yob).  back-stop
             = LONGSTOP.  back talk US = BACKCHAT.  back to back with backs
             adjacent and opposite each other (we stood back to back).
             back-to-back adj.  esp. Brit.  (of houses) with a party wall at
             the rear.  back to front 1 with the back at the front and the
             front at the back.  2 in disorder.  back-to-nature (usu.
             attrib.) applied to a movement or enthusiast for the reversion
             to a simpler way of life.  back up 1 give (esp. moral) support
             to.  2 Computing make a spare copy of (data, a disk, etc.).  3
             (of running water) accumulate behind an obstruction.  4 reverse
             (a vehicle) into a desired position.  5 US form a queue of
             vehicles etc., esp. in congested traffic.  back water reverse a
             boat's forward motion using oars.  get (or put) a person's back
             up annoy or anger a person.  get off a person's back stop
             troubling a person.  go back on fail to honour (a promise or
             commitment).  know like the back of one's hand be entirely
             familiar with.  on one's back injured or ill in bed.  on the
             back burner see BURNER.  put one's back into approach (a task
             etc.) with vigour.  see the back of see SEE(1).  turn one's back
             on 1 abandon.  2 ignore.  with one's back to (or up against) the
             wall in a desperate situation; hard-pressed.  ЬЬbacker n. (in
             sense 1 of v.).  backless adj.  [OE b‘c f. Gmc]

   backache  n.  a (usu. prolonged) pain in one's back.

   backbite  v.tr.  slander; speak badly of.  ЬЬbackbiter n.

             n.pl.  Austral. & NZ land in the remote and sparsely inhabited

   backboard n.  1 a board worn to support or straighten the back.  2 a board
             placed at or forming the back of anything.

   backbone  n.  1 the spine.  2 the main support of a structure.  3 firmness
             of character.  4 US the spine of a book.

   backchat  n.  Brit.  colloq.  the practice of replying rudely or

   backcloth n.  Brit.  Theatr.  a painted cloth at the back of the stage as
             a main part of the scenery.

   backcomb  v.tr.  comb (the hair) towards the scalp to make it look

   backdate  v.tr.  1 put an earlier date to (an agreement etc.) than the
             actual one.  2 make retrospectively valid.

   backdrop  n.  = BACKCLOTH.

   backfire  v. & n.  --v.intr.  1 undergo a mistimed explosion in the
             cylinder or exhaust of an internal-combustion engine.  2 (of a
             plan etc.) rebound adversely on the originator; have the
             opposite effect to what was intended.  --n.  an instance of

             n.  1 a game for two played on a board with pieces moved
             according to throws of the dice.  2 the most complete form of
             win in this.  [BACK + GAMMON(2)]

             n.  1 part of a scene, picture, or description, that serves as a
             setting to the chief figures or objects and foreground.  2 an
             inconspicuous or obscure position (kept in the background).  3 a
             person's education, knowledge, or social circumstances.  4
             explanatory or contributory information or circumstances.  5
             Physics low-intensity ambient radiation from radioisotopes
             present in the natural environment.  6 Electronics unwanted
             signals, such as noise in the reception or recording of sound.
             Ьbackground music music intended as an unobtrusive accompaniment
             to some activity, or to provide atmosphere in a film etc.

   backhand  n.  Tennis etc. 1 a stroke played with the back of the hand
             turned towards the opponent.  2 (attrib.) of or made with a
             backhand (backhand volley).

             adj.  1 (of a blow etc.) delivered with the back of the hand, or
             in a direction opposite to the usual one.  2 indirect; ambiguous
             (a backhanded compliment).  3 = BACKHAND adj.

             n.  1 a a backhand stroke.  b a backhanded blow.  2 colloq. an
             indirect attack.  3 Brit.  sl. a bribe.

   backing   n.  1 a support.  b a body of supporters.  c material used to
             form a back or support.  2 musical accompaniment, esp. to a

   backlash  n.  1 an excessive or marked adverse reaction.  2 a a sudden
             recoil or reaction between parts of a mechanism.  b excessive
             play between such parts.

   backlist  n.  a publisher's list of books published before the current
             season and still in print.

   backlit   adj.  (esp. in photography) illuminated from behind.

   backlog   n.  1 arrears of uncompleted work etc.  2 a reserve; reserves (a
             backlog of goodwill).

             n.  Brit.  a competitor who has the least favourable handicap in
             a race etc.

   backmost  adj.  furthest back.

   backpack  n. & v.  --n. a rucksack.  --v.intr. travel or hike with a
             backpack.  ЬЬbackpacker n.

   backrest  n.  a support for the back.

             n.  1 a rod terminating in a clawed hand for scratching one's
             own back.  2 a person who performs mutual services with another
             for gain.

             var. of BAKSHEESH.

   backside  n.  colloq.  the buttocks.

   backsight n.  1 the sight of a rifle etc. that is nearer the stock.  2
             Surveying a sight or reading taken backwards or towards the
             point of starting.

             adj.  vigorously hearty.

   backslash n.  a backward-sloping diagonal line; a reverse solidus (\).

   backslide v.intr.  (past -slid; past part.  -slid or -slidden) relapse
             into bad ways or error.  ЬЬbackslider n.

   backspace v.intr.  move a typewriter carriage etc. back one or more

   backspin  n.  a backward spin imparted to a ball causing it to fly off at
             an angle on hitting a surface.

   backstage adv. & adj.  --adv.  1 Theatr. out of view of the audience, esp.
             in the wings or dressing-rooms.  2 not known to the public.
             --adj.  also that is backstage; concealed.

             n.pl.  1 stairs at the back or side of a building.  2 (also
             backstair) (attrib.) denoting underhand or clandestine activity.

   backstay  n.  a rope etc. leading downwards and aft from the top of a

             n. & v.  --n. sewing with overlapping stitches.  --v.tr. & intr.
             sew using backstitch.

             n.  1 a street in a quiet part of a town, away from the main
             streets.  2 (attrib.) denoting illicit or illegal activity (a
             backstreet abortion).

             n.  a swimming stroke performed on the back with the arms lifted
             alternately out of the water in a backward circular motion and
             the legs extended in a kicking action.

   backtrack v.intr.  1 retrace one's steps.  2 reverse one's previous action
             or opinion.

   backup    n.  1 moral or technical support (called for extra backup).  2 a
             reserve.  3 Computing (often attrib.) a the procedure for making
             security copies of data (backup facilities).  b the copy itself
             (made a backup).  4 US a queue of vehicles etc., esp. in
             congested traffic.  Ьbackup light US a reversing light.

   backveld  n.  S.Afr.  remote country districts, esp. those strongly
             conservative.  ЬЬbackvelder n.

   backward  adv. & adj.  --adv. = BACKWARDS.  °  Backwards is now more
             common, esp. in literal senses.  --adj.  1 directed to the rear
             or starting-point (a backward look).  2 reversed.  3 mentally
             retarded or slow.  4 reluctant, shy, unassertive.
             ЬЬbackwardness n.  [earlier abackward, assoc. with BACK]

             n.  esp. Brit.  Stock Exch.  the percentage paid by a person
             selling stock for the right of delaying the delivery of it (cf.

   backwards adv.  1 away from one's front (lean backwards; look backwards).
             2 a with the back foremost (walk backwards).  b in reverse of
             the usual way (count backwards; spell backwards).  3 a into a
             worse state (new policies are taking us backwards).  b into the
             past (looked backwards over the years).  c (of a thing's motion)
             back towards the starting-point (rolled backwards).  Ьbackwards
             and forwards in both directions alternately; to and fro.  bend
             (or fall or lean) over backwards (often foll. by to + infin.)
             colloq.  make every effort, esp. to be fair or helpful.  know
             backwards be entirely familiar with.

   backwash  n.  1 a receding waves created by the motion of a ship etc.  b a
             backward current of air created by a moving aircraft.  2

   backwater n.  1 a place or condition remote from the centre of activity or
             thought.  2 stagnant water fed from a stream.

   backwoods n.pl.  1 remote uncleared forest land.  2 any remote or sparsely
             inhabited region.

             n.  (pl.  -men) 1 an inhabitant of backwoods.  2 an uncouth

   backyard  n.  a yard at the back of a house etc.  Ьin one's own backyard
             colloq.  near at hand.

   baclava   var. of BAKLAVA.

   bacon     n.  cured meat from the back or sides of a pig.  Ьbring home the
             bacon colloq.  1 succeed in one's undertaking.  2 supply
             material provision or support.  [ME f. OF f. Frank.  bako = OHG
             bahho ham, flitch]

   Baconian  adj. & n.  --adj. of or relating to the English philosopher Sir
             Francis Bacon (d. 1626), or to his inductive method of reasoning
             and philosophy.  --n.  1 a supporter of the view that Bacon was
             the author of Shakespeare's plays.  2 a follower of Bacon.

   bacteria  pl. of BACTERIUM.

             n.  a substance capable of destroying bacteria.  ЬЬbactericidal

             n.  the study of bacteria.  ЬЬbacteriological adj.
             bacteriologically adv.  bacteriologist n.

             n.  the rupture of bacterial cells.

             adj.  capable of lysing bacteria.

             n.  a virus parasitic on a bacterium, by infecting it and
             reproducing inside it.  [BACTERIUM + Gk phagein eat]

             n.  the inhibition of the growth of bacteria without destroying
             them.  ЬЬbacteriostatic adj.

   bacterium n.  (pl.  bacteria) a member of a large group of unicellular
             micro-organisms lacking organelles and an organized nucleus,
             some of which can cause disease.  ЬЬbacterial adj.  [mod.L f. Gk
             bakterion dimin. of baktron stick]

   Bactrian  adj.  of or relating to Bactria in central Asia.  ЬBactrian
             camel a camel, Camelus bactrianus, native to central Asia, with
             two humps.  [L Bactrianus f. Gk Baktrianos]

   bad       adj., n., & adv.  --adj.  (worse; worst) 1 inferior, inadequate,
             defective (bad work; a bad driver; bad light).  2 a unpleasant,
             unwelcome (bad weather; bad news).  b unsatisfactory,
             unfortunate (a bad business).  3 harmful (is bad for you).  4
             (of food) decayed, putrid.  5 colloq. ill, injured (am feeling
             bad today; a bad leg).  6 colloq. regretful, guilty, ashamed
             (feels bad about it).  7 (of an unwelcome thing) serious, severe
             (a bad headache; a bad mistake).  8 a morally wicked or
             offensive (a bad man; bad language).  b naughty; badly behaved
             (a bad child).  9 worthless; not valid (a bad cheque).  10
             (badder, baddest) esp.  US sl. good, excellent.  --n.  1 a ill
             fortune (take the bad with the good).  b ruin; a degenerate
             condition (go to the bad).  2 the debit side of an account (њ500
             to the bad).  3 (as pl.; prec. by the) bad or wicked people.
             --adv.  US colloq. badly (took it bad).  Ьbad blood ill feeling.
             bad books see BOOK.  bad breath unpleasant-smelling breath.  bad
             debt a debt that is not recoverable.  bad egg see EGG(1).  bad
             faith see FAITH.  bad form see FORM.  a bad job colloq.  an
             unfortunate state of affairs.  bad mouth US malicious gossip or
             criticism.  bad-mouth v.tr.  US subject to malicious gossip or
             criticism.  bad news colloq.  an unpleasant or troublesome
             person or thing.  from bad to worse into an even worse state.
             in a bad way ill; in trouble (looked in a bad way).  not (or not
             so) bad colloq.  fairly good.  too bad colloq.  (of
             circumstances etc.) regrettable but now beyond retrieval.
             ЬЬbaddish adj.  badness n.  [ME, perh. f. OE b‘ddel
             hermaphrodite, womanish man: for loss of l cf.  MUCH, WENCH]

   baddy     n.  (pl.  -ies) colloq.  a villain or criminal, esp. in a story,
             film, etc.

   bade      see BID.

   badge     n.  1 a distinctive emblem worn as a mark of office, membership,
             achievement, licensed employment, etc.  2 any feature or sign
             which reveals a characteristic condition or quality.  [ME: orig.

   badger    n. & v.  --n.  1 an omnivorous grey-coated nocturnal mammal of
             the family Mustelidae with a white stripe flanked by black
             stripes on its head, which lives in sets.  2 a fishing-fly,
             brush, etc., made of its hair.  --v.tr. pester, harass, tease.
             [16th c.: perh. f.  BADGE, with ref. to its white forehead mark]

   badinage  n.  humorous or playful ridicule.  [F f.  badiner to joke]

   badlands  n.  extensive uncultivable eroded tracts in arid areas.
             [transl. F mauvaises terres]

   badly     adv.  (worse; worst) 1 in a bad manner (works badly).  2 colloq.
             very much (wants it badly).  3 severely (was badly defeated).

   badminton n.  1 a game with rackets in which a shuttlecock is played back
             and forth across a net.  2 a summer drink of claret, soda, and
             sugar.  [Badminton in S. England]

             adj.  having a bad temper; irritable; easily annoyed.
             ЬЬbad-temperedly adv.

   Baedeker  n.  any of various travel guidebooks published by the firm
             founded by the German Karl Baedeker (d. 1859).

   baffle    v. & n.  --v.tr.  1 confuse or perplex (a person, one's
             faculties, etc.).  2 a frustrate or hinder (plans etc.).  b
             restrain or regulate the progress of (fluids, sounds, etc.).
             --n.  (also baffle-plate) a device used to restrain the flow of
             fluid, gas, etc., through an opening, often found in microphones
             etc. to regulate the emission of sound.  Ьbaffle-board a device
             to prevent sound from spreading in different directions, esp.
             round a loudspeaker cone.  ЬЬbafflement n.  baffling adj.
             bafflingly adv.  [perh. rel. to F bafouer ridicule, OF beffer

   baffler   n.  = BAFFLE n.

   BAFTA     abbr.  British Association of Film and Television Arts.

   bag       n. & v.  --n.  1 a receptacle of flexible material with an
             opening at the top.  2 a (usu. in pl.) a piece of luggage (put
             the bags in the boot).  b a woman's handbag.  3 (in pl.; usu.
             foll. by of) colloq. a large amount; plenty (bags of time).  4
             (in pl.) Brit.  colloq. trousers.  5 sl.  derog. a woman, esp.
             regarded as unattractive or unpleasant.  6 an animal's sac
             containing poison, honey, etc.  7 an amount of game shot by a
             sportsman.  8 (usu. in pl.) baggy folds of skin under the eyes.
             9 sl. a person's particular interest or preoccupation, esp. in a
             distinctive style or category of music (his bag is Indian
             music).  --v.  (bagged, bagging) 1 tr. put in a bag.  2 tr.
             colloq.  a secure; get hold of (bagged the best seat).  b
             colloq. steal.  c shoot (game).  d (often in phr.  bags I) Brit.
             colloq. claim on grounds of being the first to do so (bagged
             first go; bags I go first).  3 a intr. hang loosely; bulge;
             swell.  b tr. cause to do this.  4 tr.  Austral.  sl. criticize,
             disparage.  Ьbag and baggage with all one's belongings.  bag
             lady US a homeless woman who carries her possessions around in
             shopping bags.  bag (or whole bag) of tricks colloq.
             everything; the whole lot.  in the bag colloq.  achieved; as
             good as secured.  ЬЬbagful n.  (pl.  -fuls).  [ME, perh. f. ON

   bagarre   n.  a scuffle or brawl.  [F]

   bagasse   n.  the dry pulpy residue left after the extraction of juice
             from sugar cane, usable as fuel or to make paper etc.  [F f. Sp.

   bagatelle n.  1 a game in which small balls are struck into numbered holes
             on a board, with pins as obstructions.  2 a mere trifle; a
             negligible amount.  3 Mus. a short piece of music, esp. for the
             piano.  [F f. It.  bagatella dimin., perh. f.  baga BAGGAGE]

   bagel     n.  (also beigel) US a hard bread roll in the shape of a ring.
             [Yiddish beygel]

   baggage   n.  1 everyday belongings packed up in suitcases etc. for
             travelling; luggage.  2 the portable equipment of an army.  3
             joc. or derog. a girl or woman.  Ьbaggage check US a luggage
             ticket.  [ME f. OF bagage f.  baguer tie up or bagues bundles:
             perh. rel. to BAG]

   baggy     adj.  (baggier, baggiest) 1 hanging in loose folds.  2 puffed
             out.  ЬЬbaggily adv.  bagginess n.

   bagman    n.  (pl.  -men) 1 Brit.  sl. a travelling salesman.  2 Austral.
             a tramp.  3 US sl. an agent who collects or distributes money
             for illicit purposes.

   bagnio    n.  (pl.  -os) 1 a brothel.  2 an Oriental prison.  [It.  bagno
             f. L balneum bath]

   bagpipe   n.  (usu. in pl.) a musical instrument consisting of a windbag
             connected to two kinds of reeded pipes: drone pipes which
             produce single sustained notes and a fingered melody pipe or
             'chanter'.  ЬЬbagpiper n.

   baguette  n.  1 a long narrow French loaf.  2 a gem cut in a long
             rectangular shape.  3 Archit. a small moulding, semicircular in
             section.  [F f. It.  bacchetto dimin. of bacchio f. L baculum

   bah       int.  an expression of contempt or disbelief.  [prob. F]

   Baha'i    n.  (pl.  Baha'is) a member of a monotheistic religion founded
             in 1863 as a branch of Babism (see BABIS), emphasizing religious
             unity and world peace.  ЬЬBaha'ism n.  [Pers.  bah  splendour]

   Bahamian  n. & adj.  --n.  1 a native or national of the Bahamas in the W.
             Indies.  2 a person of Bahamian descent.  --adj. of or relating
             to the Bahamas.

   Bahasa Indonesia
             n.  the official language of Indonesia.  [Indonesian bahasa
             language f. Skr.  bhasa f.  bhasate he speaks: see INDONESIAN]

   bail(1)   n. & v.  --n.  1 money etc. required as security against the
             temporary release of a prisoner pending trial.  2 a person or
             persons giving such security.  --v.tr. (usu. foll. by out) 1
             release or secure the release of (a prisoner) on payment of
             bail.  2 (also bale by assoc. with bale out 1: see BALE(1))
             release from a difficulty; come to the rescue of.  Ьforfeit
             (colloq.  jump) bail fail to appear for trial after being
             released on bail.  go (or stand) bail (often foll. by for) act
             as surety (for an accused person).  ЬЬbailable adj.  [ME f. OF
             bail custody, bailler take charge of, f. L bajulare bear a

   bail(2)   n. & v.  --n.  1 Cricket either of the two crosspieces bridging
             the stumps.  2 the bar on a typewriter holding the paper against
             the platen.  3 a bar separating horses in an open stable.  4
             Austral. & NZ a framework for securing the head of a cow during
             milking.  --v.  Austral. & NZ (usu. foll. by up) 1 tr. secure (a
             cow) during milking.  2 a tr. make (a person) hold up his or her
             arms to be robbed.  b intr. surrender by throwing up one's arms.
             c tr. buttonhole (a person).  [ME f. OF bail(e), perh. f.
             bailler enclose]

   bail(3)   v.tr.  (also bale) 1 (usu. foll. by out) scoop water out of (a
             boat etc.).  2 scoop (water etc.) out.  Ьbail out var. of bale
             out 1 (see BALE(1)).  ЬЬbailer n.  [obs.  bail (n.) bucket f. F
             baille ult. f. L bajulus carrier]

   bailee    n.  Law a person or party to whom goods are committed for a
             purpose, e.g.  custody or repair, without transfer of ownership.
             [BAIL(1) + -EE]

   bailey    n.  (pl.  -eys) 1 the outer wall of a castle.  2 a court
             enclosed by it.  [ME, var. of BAIL(2)]

   Bailey bridge
             n.  a temporary bridge of lattice steel designed for rapid
             assembly from prefabricated standard parts, used esp. in
             military operations.  [Sir D.  Bailey (d. 1985), its designer]

   bailie    n.  esp.  hist.  a municipal officer and magistrate in Scotland.
             [ME, f. OF bailli(s) BAILIFF]

   bailiff   n.  1 a sheriff's officer who executes writs and processes and
             carries out distraints and arrests.  2 Brit. the agent or
             steward of a landlord.  3 US an official in a court of law who
             keeps order, looks after prisoners, etc.  4 Brit.  (hist. except
             in formal titles) the sovereign's representative in a district,
             esp. the chief officer of a hundred.  5 the first civil officer
             in the Channel Islands.  [ME f. OF baillif ult. f. L bajulus
             carrier, manager]

   bailiwick n.  1 Law the district or jurisdiction of a bailie or bailiff.
             2 joc. a person's sphere of operations or particular area of
             interest.  [BAILIE + WICK(2)]

   bailment  n.  the act of delivering goods etc. for a (usu. specified)

   bailor    n.  Law a person or party that entrusts goods to a bailee.
             [BAIL(1) + -OR]

   bailsman  n.  (pl.  -men) a person who stands bail for another.  [BAIL(1)
             + MAN]

             n.  (pl.  bains-marie pronunc. same) a cooking utensil
             consisting of a vessel of hot water in which a receptacle
             containing a sauce etc. can be slowly and gently heated; a
             double boiler.  [F, transl. med.L balneum Mariae bath of Maria
             (an alleged Jewish alchemist)]

   Bairam    n.  either of two annual Muslim festivals.  ЬGreater Bairam at
             the end of the Islamic year.  Lesser Bairam at the end of
             Ramadan.  [Turk. & Pers.]

   bairn     n.  Sc. & N.Engl.  a child.  [OE bearn]

   bait(1)   n. & v.  --n.  1 food used to entice a prey, esp. a fish or an
             animal.  2 an allurement; something intended to tempt or entice.
             3 archaic a halt on a journey for refreshment or a rest.  4 =
             BATE.  --v.  1 tr.  a harass or annoy (a person).  b torment (a
             chained animal).  2 tr. put bait on (a hook, trap, etc.) to
             entice a prey.  3 archaic a tr. give food to (horses on a
             journey).  b intr. stop on a journey to take food or a rest.
             [ME f. ON beita hunt or chase]

   bait(2)   var. of BATE.

   baize     n.  a coarse usu. green woollen material resembling felt used as
             a covering or lining, esp. on the tops of billiard- and
             card-tables.  [F baies (pl.) fem. of bai chestnut-coloured
             (BAY(4)), treated as sing.: cf.  BODICE]

   bajra     n.  Ind.  pearl millet or similar grain.  [Hindi]

   bake      v. & n.  --v.  1 a tr. cook (food) by dry heat in an oven or on
             a hot surface, without direct exposure to a flame.  b intr.
             undergo the process of being baked.  2 intr.  colloq.  a (usu.
             as be baking) (of weather etc.) be very hot.  b (of a person)
             become hot.  3 a tr. harden (clay etc.) by heat.  b intr. (of
             clay etc.) be hardened by heat.  4 a tr. (of the sun) affect by
             its heat, e.g. ripen (fruit).  b intr. (e.g. of fruit) be
             affected by the sun's heat.  --n.  1 the act or an instance of
             baking.  2 a batch of baking.  3 US a social gathering at which
             baked food is eaten.  Ьbaked Alaska see ALASKA.  baked beans
             baked haricot beans, usu. tinned in tomato sauce.  baking-powder
             a mixture of sodium bicarbonate, cream of tartar, etc., used
             instead of yeast in baking.  baking-soda sodium bicarbonate.
             [OE bacan]

   bakehouse n.  = BAKERY.

   Bakelite  n.  propr.  any of various thermosetting resins or plastics made
             from formaldehyde and phenol and used for cables, buttons,
             plates, etc.  [G Bakelit f. L.H.  Baekeland its Belgian-born
             inventor d. 1944]

   baker     n.  a person who bakes and sells bread, cakes, etc., esp.
             professionally.  Ьbaker's dozen thirteen (so called from the
             former bakers' custom of adding an extra loaf to a dozen sold;
             the exact reason for this is unclear).  [OE b‘cere]

   bakery    n.  (pl.  -ies) a place where bread and cakes are made or sold.

   Bakewell tart
             n.  a baked open pie consisting of a pastry case lined with jam
             and filled with a rich almond paste.  [Bakewell in Derbyshire]

   baklava   n.  (also baclava) a rich sweetmeat of flaky pastry, honey, and
             nuts.  [Turk.]

   baksheesh n.  (also backsheesh) (in some oriental countries) a small sum
             of money given as a gratuity or as alms.  [ult. f. Pers.  baksis
             f.  baksidan give]

   Balaclava n. (in full Balaclava helmet) a tight woollen garment covering
             the whole head and neck except for parts of the face, worn orig.
             by soldiers on active service in the Crimean War.  [Balaclava in
             the Crimea, the site of a battle in 1854]

   balalaika n.  a guitar-like musical instrument having a triangular body
             and 2-4 strings, popular in Russia and other Slav countries.

   balance   n. & v.  --n.  1 an apparatus for weighing, esp. one with a
             central pivot, beam, and two scales.  2 a a counteracting weight
             or force.  b (in full balance-wheel) the regulating device in a
             clock etc.  3 a an even distribution of weight or amount.  b
             stability of body or mind (regained his balance).  4 a
             preponderating weight or amount (the balance of opinion).  5 a
             an agreement between or the difference between credits and
             debits in an account.  b the difference between an amount due
             and an amount paid (will pay the balance next week).  c an
             amount left over; the rest.  6 a Art harmony of design and
             proportion.  b Mus. the relative volume of various sources of
             sound (bad balance between violins and trumpets).  7 (the
             Balance) the zodiacal sign or constellation Libra.  --v.  1 tr.
             (foll. by with, against) offset or compare (one thing) with
             another (must balance the advantages with the disadvantages).  2
             tr. counteract, equal, or neutralize the weight or importance
             of.  3 a tr. bring into or keep in equilibrium (balanced a book
             on her head).  b intr. be in equilibrium (balanced on one leg).
             4 tr. (usu. as balanced adj.) establish equal or appropriate
             proportions of elements in (a balanced diet; balanced opinion).
             5 tr. weigh (arguments etc.) against each other.  6 a tr.
             compare and esp. equalize debits and credits of (an account).  b
             intr. (of an account) have credits and debits equal.  Ьbalance
             of payments the difference in value between payments into and
             out of a country.  balance of power 1 a situation in which the
             chief States of the world have roughly equal power.  2 the power
             held by a small group when larger groups are of equal strength.
             balance of trade the difference in value between imports and
             exports.  balance sheet a statement giving the balance of an
             account.  in the balance uncertain; at a critical stage.  on
             balance all things considered.  strike a balance choose a
             moderate course or compromise.  ЬЬbalanceable adj.  balancer n.
             [ME f. OF, ult. f. LL (libra) bilanx bilancis two-scaled

   balata    n.  1 any of several latex-yielding trees of Central America,
             esp.  Manilkara bidentata.  2 the dried sap of this used as a
             substitute for gutta-percha.  [ult. f. Carib]

             n.  a knitted cotton fabric used for underwear etc.  [Balbriggan
             in Ireland, where it was orig. made]

   balcony   n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 a usu. balustraded platform on the outside of
             a building, with access from an upper-floor window or door.  2 a
             the tier of seats in a theatre above the dress circle.  b the
             upstairs seats in a cinema etc.  c US the dress circle in a
             theatre.  ЬЬbalconied adj.  [It.  balcone]

   bald      adj.  1 (of a person) with the scalp wholly or partly lacking
             hair.  2 (of an animal, plant, etc.) not covered by the usual
             hair, feathers, leaves, etc.  3 colloq. with the surface worn
             away (a bald tyre).  4 a blunt, unelaborated (a bald statement).
             b undisguised (the bald effrontery).  5 meagre or dull (a bald
             style).  6 marked with white, esp. on the face (a bald horse).
             Ьbald eagle a white-headed eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus),
             used as the emblem of the United States.  ЬЬbalding adj. (in
             senses 1-3).  baldish adj.  baldly adv. (in sense 4).  baldness
             n.  [ME ballede, orig. 'having a white blaze', prob. f. an OE
             root ball- 'white patch']

   baldachin n.  (also baldaquin) 1 a ceremonial canopy over an altar,
             throne, etc.  2 a rich brocade.  [It.  baldacchino f.  Baldacco
             Baghdad, its place of origin]

             n.  senseless talk or writing; nonsense.  [earlier = 'mixture of
             drinks': orig. unkn.]

   baldhead  n.  a person with a bald head.

   baldmoney n.  (pl.  -eys) an aromatic white-flowered umbelliferous
             mountain plant Meum athamanticum.  [ME in sense 'gentian': orig.

   baldric   n.  hist.  a belt for a sword, bugle, etc., hung from the
             shoulder across the body to the opposite hip.  [ME baudry f. OF
             baudrei: cf. MHG balderich, of unkn. orig.]

   bale(1)   n. & v.  --n.  1 a bundle of merchandise or hay etc. tightly
             wrapped and bound with cords or hoops.  2 the quantity in a bale
             as a measure, esp.  US 500 lb. of cotton.  --v.tr. make up into
             bales.  Ьbale (or bail) out 1 (of an airman) make an emergency
             parachute descent from an aircraft (cf.  BAIL(3)).  2 = BAIL(1)
             v.  2.  [ME prob. f. MDu., ult. identical with BALL(1)]

   bale(2)   n.  archaic or poet.  evil, destruction, woe, pain, misery.  [OE

   bale(3)   var. of BAIL(3).

   baleen    n.  whalebone.  Ьbaleen whale any of various whales of the
             suborder Mysticeti, having plates of baleen fringed with
             bristles for straining plankton from the water.  [ME f. OF
             baleine f. L balaena whale]

   baleful   adj.  1 (esp. of a manner, look, etc.) gloomy, menacing.  2
             harmful, malignant, destructive.  ЬЬbalefully adv.  balefulness
             n.  [BALE(2) + -FUL]

   baler     n.  a machine for making bales of hay, straw, metal, etc.

   Balinese  n. & adj.  --n.  (pl. same) 1 a native of Bali, an island in
             Indonesia.  2 the language of Bali.  --adj. of or relating to
             Bali or its people or language.

   balk      var. of BAULK.

   Balkan    adj. & n.  --adj.  1 of or relating to the region of SE Europe
             bounded by the Adriatic, the Aegean, and the Black Sea.  2 of or
             relating to its peoples or countries.  --n. (the Balkans) the
             Balkan countries.  [Turk.]

   balky     var. of BAULKY.

   ball(1)   n. & v.  --n.  1 a solid or hollow sphere, esp. for use in a
             game.  2 a a ball-shaped object; material forming the shape of a
             ball (ball of snow; ball of wool; rolled himself into a ball).
             b a rounded part of the body (ball of the foot).  3 a solid
             non-explosive missile for a cannon etc.  4 a single delivery of
             a ball in cricket, baseball, etc., or passing of a ball in
             football.  5 (in pl.) coarse sl.  a the testicles.  b (usu. as
             an exclam. of contempt) nonsense, rubbish.  c = balls-up.  d
             courage, 'guts'.  °Sense 5 is usually considered a taboo use.
             --v.  1 tr. squeeze or wind into a ball.  2 intr. form or gather
             into a ball or balls.  Ьball-and-socket joint Anat.  a joint in
             which a rounded end lies in a concave cup or socket, allowing
             freedom of movement.  ball-bearing 1 a bearing in which the two
             halves are separated by a ring of small metal balls which reduce
             friction.  2 one of these balls.  ball game 1 a any game played
             with a ball.  b US a game of baseball.  2 esp.  US colloq. a
             particular affair or concern (a whole new ball game).  the ball
             is in your etc. court you etc. must be next to act.  ball
             lightning a rare globular form of lightning.  ball-point (pen) a
             pen with a tiny ball as its writing point.  balls (or ball) up
             coarse sl.  bungle; make a mess of.  balls-up n.  coarse sl.  a
             mess; a confused or bungled situation.  have the ball at one's
             feet have one's best opportunity.  keep the ball rolling
             maintain the momentum of an activity.  on the ball colloq.
             alert.  play ball colloq.  cooperate.  start etc. the ball
             rolling set an activity in motion; make a start.  [ME f. ON
             b”llr f. Gmc]

   ball(2)   n.  1 a formal social gathering for dancing.  2 sl. an enjoyable
             time (esp. have a ball).  [F bal f. LL ballare to dance]

   ballad    n.  1 a poem or song narrating a popular story.  2 a slow
             sentimental or romantic song.  Ьballad metre = common metre.
             [ME f. OF balade f. Prov.  balada dancing-song f.  balar to

   ballade   n.  1 a poem of one or more triplets of stanzas with a repeated
             refrain and an envoy.  2 Mus. a short lyrical piece, esp. for
             piano.  [earlier spelling and pronunc. of BALLAD]

   balladeer n.  a singer or composer of ballads.

   balladry  n.  ballad poetry.

   ballast   n. & v.  --n.  1 any heavy material placed in a ship or the car
             of a balloon etc. to secure stability.  2 coarse stone etc. used
             to form the bed of a railway track or road.  3 Electr. any
             device used to stabilize the current in a circuit.  4 anything
             that affords stability or permanence.  --v.tr.  1 provide with
             ballast.  2 afford stability or weight to.  [16th c.: f. LG or
             Scand., of uncert. orig.]

   ballboy   n.  (fem.  ballgirl) (in lawn tennis) a boy or girl who
             retrieves balls that go out of play during a game.

   ballcock  n.  a floating ball on a hinged arm, whose movement up and down
             controls the water level in a cistern.

   ballerina n.  a female ballet-dancer.  [It., fem. of ballerino
             dancing-master f.  ballare dance f. LL: see BALL(2)]

   ballet    n.  1 a a dramatic or representational style of dancing and
             mime, using set steps and techniques and usu. (esp. in classical
             ballet) accompanied by music.  b a particular piece or
             performance of ballet.  c the music for this.  2 a company
             performing ballet.  Ьballet-dancer a dancer who specializes in
             ballet.  ЬЬballetic adj.  [F f. It.  balletto dimin. of ballo

             n.  a devotee of ballet.  ЬЬballetomania n.

   ballista  n.  (pl.  ballistae) a catapult used in ancient warfare for
             hurling large stones etc.  [L f. Gk ballo throw]

   ballistic adj.  1 of or relating to projectiles.  2 moving under the force
             of gravity only.  Ьballistic missile a missile which is
             initially powered and guided but falls under gravity on its
             target.  ЬЬballistically adv.  [BALLISTA + -IC]

             n.pl.  (usu. treated as sing.) the science of projectiles and

   ballocks  var. of BOLLOCKS.

   ballon d'essai
             n.  (pl.  ballons d'essai pronunc. same) an experiment to see
             how a new policy etc. will be received.  [F, = trial balloon]

   balloon   n. & v.  --n.  1 a small inflatable rubber pouch with a neck,
             used as a child's toy or as decoration.  2 a large usu. round
             bag inflatable with hot air or gas to make it rise in the air,
             often carrying a basket for passengers.  3 colloq. a balloon
             shape enclosing the words or thoughts of characters in a comic
             strip or cartoon.  4 a large globular drinking glass, usu. for
             brandy.  --v.  1 intr. & tr. swell out or cause to swell out
             like a balloon.  2 intr. travel by balloon.  3 tr.  Brit. hit or
             kick (a ball etc.) high in the air.  ЬЬballoonist n.  [F ballon
             or It.  ballone large ball]

   ballot    n. & v.  --n.  1 a process of voting, in writing and usu.
             secret.  2 the total of votes recorded in a ballot.  3 the
             drawing of lots.  4 a paper or ticket etc. used in voting.  --v.
             (balloted, balloting) 1 intr. (usu. foll. by for) a hold a
             ballot; give a vote.  b draw lots for precedence etc.  2 tr.
             take a ballot of (the union balloted its members).  Ьballot-box
             a sealed box into which voters put completed ballot-papers.
             ballot-paper a slip of paper used to register a vote.  [It.
             ballotta dimin. of balla BALL(1)]

   ballpark  n.  US 1 a baseball ground.  2 (attrib.) colloq. approximate,
             rough (a ballpark figure).  Ьin the right ballpark colloq.
             close to one's objective; approximately correct.

   ballroom  n.  a large room or hall for dancing.  Ьballroom dancing formal
             social dancing as a recreation.

   bally     adj. & adv.  Brit.  sl.  a mild form of bloody (see BLOODY adj.
             3) (took the bally lot).  [alt. of BLOODY]

   ballyhoo  n.  1 a loud noise or fuss; a confused state or commotion.  2
             extravagant or sensational publicity.  [19th or 20th c., orig.
             US (in sense 2): orig. unkn.]

   ballyrag  v.tr.  (also bullyrag) (-ragged, -ragging) sl.  play tricks on;
             scold, harass.  [18th c.: orig. unkn.]

   balm      n.  1 an aromatic ointment for anointing, soothing, or healing.
             2 a fragrant and medicinal exudation from certain trees and
             plants.  3 a healing or soothing influence or consolation.  4 an
             Asian and N. African tree yielding balm.  5 any aromatic herb,
             esp. one of the genus Melissa.  6 a pleasant perfume or
             fragrance.  Ьbalm of Gilead (cf. Jer. 8:22) 1 a a fragrant resin
             formerly much used as an unguent.  b a plant of the genus
             Commiphora yielding such resin.  2 the balsam fir or poplar.
             [ME f. OF ba(s)me f. L balsamum BALSAM]

   balmoral  n.  1 a type of brimless boat-shaped cocked hat with a cockade
             or ribbons attached, usu. worn by certain Scottish regiments.  2
             a heavy leather walking-boot with laces up the front.  [Balmoral
             Castle in Scotland]

   balmy     adj.  (balmier, balmiest) 1 mild and fragrant; soothing.  2
             yielding balm.  3 sl. = BARMY.  ЬЬbalmily adv.  balminess n.

             n.  the scientific study of bathing and medicinal springs.
             ЬЬbalneological adj.  balneologist n.  [L balneum bath + -LOGY]

   baloney   var. of BOLONEY.

   BALPA     abbr.  British Air Line Pilots' Association.

   balsa     n.  1 (in full balsa-wood) a type of tough lightweight wood used
             for making models etc.  2 the tropical American tree, Ochroma
             lagopus, from which it comes.  [Sp., = raft]

   balsam    n.  1 any of several aromatic resinous exudations, such as balm,
             obtained from various trees and shrubs and used as a base for
             certain fragrances and medical preparations.  2 an ointment,
             esp. one composed of a substance dissolved in oil or turpentine.
             3 any of various trees or shrubs which yield balsam.  4 any of
             several flowering plants of the genus Impatiens.  5 a healing or
             soothing agency.  Ьbalsam apple any of various gourdlike plants
             of the genus Momordica, having warted orange-yellow fruits.
             balsam fir a N. American tree (Abies balsamea) which yields
             balsam.  balsam poplar any of various N. American poplars, esp.
             Populus balsamifera, yielding balsam.  ЬЬbalsamic adj.  [OE f. L

   Baltic    n. & adj.  --n.  1 (the Baltic) a an almost land-locked sea of
             NE Europe.  b the States bordering this sea.  2 an Indo-European
             branch of languages including Old Prussian, Lithuanian, Latvian,
             and Lettish.  --adj. of or relating to the Baltic or the branch
             of languages called Baltic.  [med.L Balticus f. LL Balthae
             dwellers near the Baltic Sea]

   baluster  n.  each of a series of often ornamental short posts or pillars
             supporting a rail or coping etc.  °Often confused with banister.
             [F balustre f. It.  balaustro f. L f. Gk balaustion
             wild-pomegranate flower]

             n.  a railing supported by balusters, esp. forming an ornamental
             parapet to a balcony, bridge, or terrace.  [F (as BALUSTER)]

   bambino   n.  (pl.  bambini) colloq.  a young (esp. Italian) child.  [It.,
             dimin. of bambo silly]

   bamboo    n.  1 a mainly tropical giant woody grass of the subfamily
             Bambusidae.  2 its hollow jointed stem, used as a stick or to
             make furniture etc.  [Du.  bamboes f. Port.  mambu f. Malay]

   bamboozle v.tr.  colloq.  cheat, hoax, mystify.  ЬЬbamboozlement n.
             bamboozler n.  [c.1700: prob. of cant orig.]

   ban       v. & n.  --v.tr.  (banned, banning) forbid, prohibit, esp.
             formally.  --n.  1 a formal or authoritative prohibition (a ban
             on smoking).  2 a tacit prohibition by public opinion.  3 a
             sentence of outlawry.  4 archaic a curse or execration.  [OE
             bannan summon f. Gmc]

   banal     adj.  trite, feeble, commonplace.  ЬЬbanality n.  (pl.  -ies).
             banally adv.  [orig. in sense 'compulsory', hence 'common to
             all', f. F f.  ban (as BAN)]

   banana    n.  1 a long curved fruit with soft pulpy flesh and yellow skin
             when ripe, growing in clusters.  2 (in full banana-tree) the
             tropical and subtropical treelike plant, Musa sapientum, bearing
             this.  Ьbanana republic derog.  a small State, esp. in Central
             America, dependent on the influx of foreign capital.  banana
             skin 1 the skin of a banana.  2 a cause of upset or humiliation;
             a blunder.  banana split a sweet dish made with split bananas,
             ice-cream, sauce, etc.  go bananas sl.  become crazy or angry.
             [Port. or Sp., f. a name in Guinea]

   banausic  adj.  derog.  1 a uncultivated.  b materialistic.  2 suitable
             only for artisans.  [Gk banausikos for artisans]

   Banbury cake
             n.  a flat pastry with a spicy currant filling.  [Banbury in S.
             England, where it was orig. made]

   banc      n.  Ьin banc Law sitting as a full court.  [AF (= bench) f.
             med.L (as BANK(2))]

   band(1)   n. & v.  --n.  1 a flat, thin strip or loop of material (e.g.
             paper, metal, or cloth) put round something esp. to hold it
             together or decorate it (headband).  2 a a strip of material
             forming part of a garment (hatband; waistband).  b a stripe of a
             different colour or material on an object.  3 a a range of
             frequencies or wavelengths in a spectrum (esp.  of radio
             frequencies).  b a range of values within a series.  4 Mech. a
             belt connecting wheels or pulleys.  5 (in pl.) a collar having
             two hanging strips, worn by some lawyers, ministers, and
             academics in formal dress.  6 archaic a thing that restrains,
             binds, connects, or unites; a bond.  --v.tr.  1 put a band on.
             2 a mark with stripes.  b (as banded adj.) Bot. & Zool. marked
             with coloured bands or stripes.  Ьband-saw a mechanical saw with
             a blade formed by an endless toothed band.  [ME f. OF bande,
             bende (sense 6 f. ON band) f. Gmc]

   band(2)   n. & v.  --n.  1 an organized group of people having a common
             object, esp.  of a criminal nature (band of cutthroats).  2 a a
             group of musicians, esp. playing wind instruments (brass band;
             military band).  b a group of musicians playing jazz, pop, or
             dance music.  c colloq. an orchestra.  3 US a herd or flock.
             --v.tr. & intr. form into a group for a purpose (band together
             for mutual protection).  ЬBand of Hope an association promoting
             total abstinence from alcohol.  [ME f. OF bande, bander, med.L
             banda, prob. of Gmc orig.]

   bandage   n. & v.  --n.  1 a strip of material for binding up a wound etc.
             2 a piece of material used as a blindfold.  --v.tr. bind (a
             wound etc.) with a bandage.  [F f.  bande (as BAND(1))]

   bandanna  n.  a large coloured handkerchief or neckerchief, usu. of silk
             or cotton, and often having white spots.  [prob. Port. f. Hindi]

   b. & b.   abbr.  bed and breakfast.

   bandbox   n.  a usu. circular cardboard box for carrying hats.  Ьout of a
             bandbox extremely neat.  [BAND(1) + BOX(1)]

   bandeau   n.  (pl.  bandeaux) a narrow band worn round the head.  [F]

             n.  a decorated dart thrust into a bull's neck or shoulders
             during a bullfight.  [Sp.]

   banderole n.  (also banderol) 1 a a long narrow flag with a cleft end,
             flown at a masthead.  b an ornamental streamer on a knight's
             lance.  2 a a ribbon-like scroll.  b a stone band resembling a
             banderole, bearing an inscription.  [F banderole f. It.
             banderuola dimin. of bandiera BANNER]

   bandicoot n.  1 any of the insect- and plant-eating marsupials of the
             family Peramelidae.  2 (in full bandicoot rat) Ind. a
             destructive rat, Bandicota benegalensis.  [Telugu pandikokku

   bandit    n.  (pl.  bandits or banditti) 1 a robber or murderer, esp. a
             member of a gang; a gangster.  2 an outlaw.  ЬЬbanditry n.  [It.
             bandito (pl.  -iti), past part. of bandire ban, = med.L bannire
             proclaim: see BANISH]

             n.  the conductor of a (esp. military or brass) band.  [BAND(2)
             + MASTER]

   bandolier n.  (also bandoleer) a shoulder belt with loops or pockets for
             cartridges.  [Du.  bandelier or F bandouliЉre, prob. formed as

   bandsman  n.  (pl.  -men) a player in a (esp. military or brass) band.

   bandstand n.  a covered outdoor platform for a band to play on, usu. in a

   bandwagon n.  US a wagon used for carrying a band in a parade etc.  Ьclimb
             (or jump) on the bandwagon join a party, cause, or group that
             seems likely to succeed.

   bandwidth n.  the range of frequencies within a given band (see BAND(1) n.

   bandy(1)  adj.  (bandier, bandiest) 1 (of the legs) curved so as to be
             wide apart at the knees.  2 (also bandy-legged) (of a person)
             having bandy legs.  [perh. f. obs.  bandy curved stick]

   bandy(2)  v.tr.  (-ies, -ied) 1 (often foll. by about) a pass (a story,
             rumour, etc.) to and fro.  b throw or pass (a ball etc.) to and
             fro.  2 (often foll. by about) discuss disparagingly (bandied
             her name about).  3 (often foll. by with) exchange (blows,
             insults, etc.) (don't bandy words with me).  [perh. f. F bander
             take sides f.  bande BAND(2)]

   bane      n.  1 the cause of ruin or trouble; the curse (esp. the bane of
             one's life).  2 poet. ruin; woe.  3 archaic (except in comb.)
             poison (ratsbane).  ЬЬbaneful adj.  banefully adv.  [OE bana f.

   baneberry n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 a plant of the genus Actaea.  2 the bitter
             poisonous berry of this plant.

   bang      n., v., & adv.  --n.  1 a a loud short sound.  b an explosion.
             c the report of a gun.  2 a a sharp blow.  b the sound of this.
             3 esp.  US a fringe of hair cut straight across the forehead.  4
             coarse sl. an act of sexual intercourse.  5 sl. a drug injection
             (cf.  BHANG).  --v.  1 tr. & intr. strike or shut noisily
             (banged the door shut; banged on the table).  2 tr. & intr. make
             or cause to make the sound of a blow or an explosion.  3 tr.
             esp.  US cut (hair) in a bang.  4 coarse sl.  a intr. have
             sexual intercourse.  b tr. have sexual intercourse with.  --adv.
             1 with a bang or sudden impact.  2 colloq. exactly (bang in the
             middle).  Ьbang off Brit.  sl.  immediately.  bang on Brit.
             colloq.  exactly right.  bang-up US sl.  first-class, excellent
             (esp. bang-up job).  go bang 1 (of a door etc.) shut noisily.  2
             explode.  3 colloq. be suddenly destroyed (bang went their
             chances).  go with a bang go successfully.  [16th c.: perh. f.

   banger    n.  Brit.  1 sl. a sausage.  2 sl. an old car, esp. a noisy one.
             3 a loud firework.

   bangle    n.  a rigid ornamental band worn round the arm or occas. the
             ankle.  [Hindi bangri glass bracelet]

   bangtail  n.  a horse, esp. with its tail cut straight across.  Ьbangtail
             muster Austral.  the counting of cattle involving cutting across
             the tufts at the tail-ends as each is counted.

   banian    var. of BANYAN.

   banish    v.tr.  1 formally expel (a person), esp. from a country.  2
             dismiss from one's presence or mind.  ЬЬbanishment n.  [ME f. OE
             banir ult. f. Gmc]

   banister  n.  (also bannister) 1 (in pl.) the uprights and handrail at the
             side of a staircase.  2 (usu. in pl.) an upright supporting a
             handrail.  °Often confused with baluster.  [earlier barrister,
             corrupt. of BALUSTER]

   banjo     n.  (pl.  -os or -oes) a stringed musical instrument with a neck
             and head like a guitar and an open-backed body consisting of
             parchment stretched over a metal hoop.  ЬЬbanjoist n.  [US
             southern corrupt. of earlier bandore ult. f. Gk pandoura
             three-stringed lute]

   bank(1)   n. & v.  --n.  1 a the sloping edge of land by a river.  b the
             area of ground alongside a river (had a picnic on the bank).  2
             a raised shelf of ground; a slope.  3 an elevation in the sea or
             a river bed.  4 the artificial slope of a road etc., enabling
             vehicles to maintain speed round a curve.  5 a mass of cloud,
             fog, snow, etc.  6 the edge of a hollow place (e.g. the top of a
             mine-shaft).  --v.  1 tr. & intr. (often foll. by up) heap or
             rise into banks.  2 tr. heap up (a fire) tightly so that it
             burns slowly.  3 a intr. (of a vehicle or aircraft or its
             occupant) travel with one side higher than the other in rounding
             a curve.  b tr. cause (a vehicle or aircraft) to do this.  4 tr.
             contain or confine within a bank or banks.  5 tr. build (a road
             etc.) higher at the outer edge of a bend to enable fast
             cornering.  [ME f. Gmc f. ON banki (unrecorded: cf. OIcel.
             bakki): rel. to BENCH]

   bank(2)   n. & v.  --n.  1 a a financial establishment which uses money
             deposited by customers for investment, pays it out when
             required, makes loans at interest, exchanges currency, etc.  b a
             building in which this business takes place.  2 = piggy bank.  3
             a the money or tokens held by the banker in some gambling games.
             b the banker in such games.  4 a place for storing anything for
             future use (blood bank; data bank).  --v.  1 tr. deposit (money
             or valuables) in a bank.  2 intr. engage in business as a
             banker.  3 intr. (often foll. by at, with) keep money (at a
             bank).  4 intr. act as banker in some gambling games.  Ьbank
             balance the amount of money held in a bank account at a given
             moment.  bank-bill 1 Brit. a bill drawn by one bank on another.
             2 US = BANKNOTE.  bank-book = PASSBOOK.  bank card = cheque
             card.  bank holiday a day on which banks are officially closed,
             (in the UK) usu. kept as a public holiday.  bank manager a
             person in charge of a local branch of a bank.  the Bank of
             England the central bank of England and Wales, issuing banknotes
             and having the Government as its main customer.  bank on rely on
             (I'm banking on your help).  bank statement a printed statement
             of transactions and balance issued periodically to the holder of
             a bank account.  [F banque or It.  banca f. med.L banca, bancus,
             f. Gmc: rel. to BANK(1)]

   bank(3)   n.  1 a row of similar objects, esp. of keys, lights, or
             switches.  2 a tier of oars.  [ME f. OF banc f. Gmc: rel. to
             BANK(1), BENCH]

   bankable  adj.  1 acceptable at a bank.  2 reliable (a bankable

   banker(1) n.  1 a person who manages or owns a bank or group of banks.  2
             a a keeper of the bank or dealer in some gambling games.  b a
             card-game involving gambling.  3 Brit. a result forecast
             identically (while other forecasts differ) in several
             football-pool entries on one coupon.  Ьbanker's card = cheque
             card.  banker's order an instruction to a bank to pay money or
             deliver property, signed by the owner or the owner's agent.  [F
             banquier f.  banque BANK(2)]

   banker(2) n.  1 a a fishing boat off Newfoundland.  b a Newfoundland
             fisherman.  2 Austral.  colloq. a river flooded to the top of
             its banks.  [BANK(1) + -ER(1)]

   banking   n.  the business transactions of a bank.

   banknote  n.  a banker's promissory note, esp. from a central bank,
             payable to the bearer on demand, and serving as money.

   bankroll  n. & v.  US --n.  1 a roll of banknotes.  2 funds.  --v.tr.
             colloq. support financially.

   bankrupt  adj., n., & v.  --adj.  1 a insolvent; declared in law unable to
             pay debts.  b undergoing the legal process resulting from this.
             2 (often foll. by of) exhausted or drained (of some quality
             etc.); deficient, lacking.  --n.  1 a an insolvent person whose
             estate is administered and disposed of for the benefit of the
             creditors.  b an insolvent debtor.  2 a person exhausted of or
             deficient in a certain attribute (a moral bankrupt).  --v.tr.
             make bankrupt.  ЬЬbankruptcy n.  (pl.  -ies).  [16th c.: f. It
             banca rotta broken bench (as BANK(2), L rumpere rupt- break),
             assim. to L]

   banksia   n.  any evergreen flowering shrub of the genus Banksia, native
             to Australia.  Ьbanksia rose a Chinese climbing rose with small
             flowers.  [Sir J.  Banks, Engl. naturalist d. 1820]

   banner    n.  1 a a large rectangular sign bearing a slogan or design and
             usu. carried on two side-poles or a crossbar in a demonstration
             or procession.  b a long strip of cloth etc. hung across a
             street or along the front of a building etc. and bearing a
             slogan.  2 a slogan or phrase used to represent a belief or
             principle.  3 a flag on a pole used as the standard of a king,
             knight, etc., esp. in battle.  4 (attrib.) US excellent,
             outstanding (a banner year in sales).  Ьbanner headline a large
             newspaper headline, esp. one across the top of the front page.
             join (or follow) the banner of adhere to the cause of.
             ЬЬbannered adj.  [ME f. AF banere, OF baniere f. Rmc ult. f.

   banneret  n.  hist.  1 a knight who commanded his own troops in battle
             under his own banner.  2 a knighthood given on the battlefield
             for courage.  [ME & OF baneret f.  baniere BANNER + -et as

   bannister var. of BANISTER.

   bannock   n.  Sc. & N.Engl.  a round flat loaf, usu. unleavened.  [OE
             bannuc, perh. f. Celt.]

   banns     n.pl.  a notice read out on three successive Sundays in a parish
             church, announcing an intended marriage and giving the
             opportunity for objections.  Ьforbid the banns raise an
             objection to an intended marriage, esp. in church following the
             reading of the banns.  [pl. of BAN]

   banquet   n. & v.  --n.  1 an elaborate usu. extensive feast.  2 a dinner
             for many people followed by speeches in favour of a cause or in
             celebration of an event.  --v.  (banqueted, banqueting) 1 intr.
             hold a banquet; feast.  2 tr. entertain with a banquet.
             ЬЬbanqueter n.  [F, dimin. of banc bench, BANK(2)]

   banquette n.  1 an upholstered bench along a wall, esp. in a restaurant or
             bar.  2 a raised step behind a rampart.  [F f. It.  banchetta
             dimin. of banca bench, BANK(2)]

   banshee   n.  Ir. & Sc.  a female spirit whose wailing warns of a death in
             a house.  [Ir.  bean sЎdhe f. OIr.  ben sЎde woman of the

   bantam    n.  1 any of several small breeds of domestic fowl, of which the
             cock is very aggressive.  2 a small but aggressive person.
             [app. f.  Bantan in Java, although the fowl is not native there]

             n.  1 a weight in certain sports intermediate between flyweight
             and featherweight, in the amateur boxing scale 51-4 kg but
             differing for professional boxers, wrestlers, and weightlifters.
             2 a sportsman of this weight.

   banter    n. & v.  --n. good-humoured teasing.  --v.  1 tr. ridicule in a
             good-humoured way.  2 intr. talk humorously or teasingly.
             ЬЬbanterer n.  [17th c.: orig. unkn.]

   Bantu     n. & adj.  --n.  (pl. same or Bantus) 1 often offens.  a a large
             group of Negroid peoples of central and southern Africa.  b a
             member of any of these peoples.  2 the group of languages spoken
             by them.  --adj. of or relating to these peoples or languages.
             [Bantu, = people]

   Bantustan n.  S.Afr. often offens.  any of several partially
             self-governing areas reserved for Black South Africans (see also
             HOMELAND).  [BANTU + -stan as in Hindustan]

   banyan    n.  (also banian) 1 an Indian fig tree, Ficus benghalensis, the
             branches of which hang down and root themselves.  2 a Hindu
             trader.  3 a loose flannel jacket, shirt, or gown worn in India.
             [Port.  banian f. Gujarati vaniyo man of trading caste, f. Skr.:
             applied orig. to one such tree under which banyans had built a

   banzai    int.  1 a Japanese battle cry.  2 a form of greeting used to the
             Japanese emperor.  [Jap., = ten thousand years (of life to you)]

   baobab    n.  an African tree, Adansonia digitata, with an enormously
             thick trunk and large fruit containing edible pulp.  [L (1592),
             prob. f. an Afr. lang.]

   BAOR      abbr.  British Army of the Rhine.

   bap       n.  Brit.  a soft flattish bread roll.  [16th c.: orig. unkn.]

   baptism   n.  1 a the religious rite, symbolizing admission to the
             Christian Church, of sprinkling the forehead with water, or
             (usu. only with adults) by immersion, generally accompanied by
             name-giving.  b the act of baptizing or being baptized.  2 an
             initiation, e.g. into battle.  3 the naming of ships, church
             bells, etc.  Ьbaptism of fire 1 initiation into battle.  2 a
             painful new undertaking or experience.  ЬЬbaptismal adj.  [ME f.
             OF ba(p)te(s)me f. eccl.L baptismus f. eccl.Gk baptismos f.
             baptizo BAPTIZE]

   baptist   n.  1 a person who baptizes, esp. John the Baptist.  2 (Baptist)
             a Christian advocating baptism by total immersion, esp. of
             adults, as a symbol of membership of and initiation into the
             Church.  [ME f. OF baptiste f. eccl.L baptista f. eccl.Gk
             baptistes f.  baptizo BAPTIZE]

             n.  (also baptistry) (pl.  -ies) 1 a the part of a church used
             for baptism.  b hist. a building next to a church, used for
             baptism.  2 (in a Baptist chapel) a sunken receptacle used for
             total immersion.  [ME f. OF baptisterie f. eccl.L baptisterium
             f. eccl.Gk baptisterion bathing-place f.  baptizo BAPTIZE]

   baptize   v.tr.  (also -ise) 1 (also absol.) administer baptism to.  2
             give a name or nickname to; christen.  [ME f. OF baptiser f.
             eccl.L baptizare f. Gk baptizo immerse, baptize]

   bar(1)    n., v., & prep.  --n.  1 a long rod or piece of rigid wood,
             metal, etc., esp. used as an obstruction, confinement,
             fastening, weapon, etc.  2 a something resembling a bar in being
             (thought of as) straight, narrow, and rigid (bar of soap; bar of
             chocolate).  b a band of colour or light, esp. on a flat
             surface.  c the heating element of an electric fire.  d =
             CROSSBAR.  e Brit. a metal strip below the clasp of a medal,
             awarded as an extra distinction.  f a sandbank or shoal at the
             mouth of a harbour or an estuary.  g Brit. a rail marking the
             end of each chamber in the Houses of Parliament.  h Heraldry a
             narrow horizontal stripe across a shield.  3 a a barrier of any
             shape.  b a restriction (colour bar; a bar to promotion).  4 a a
             counter in a public house, restaurant, or caf‚ across which
             alcohol or refreshments are served.  b a room in a public house
             in which customers may sit and drink.  c US a public house.  d a
             small shop or stall serving refreshments (snack bar).  e a
             specialized department in a large store (heel bar).  5 a an
             enclosure in which a prisoner stands in a lawcourt.  b a public
             standard of acceptability, before which a person is said to be
             tried (bar of conscience).  c a plea arresting an action or
             claim in a law case.  d a particular court of law.  6 Mus.  a
             any of the sections of usu. equal time-value into which a
             musical composition is divided by vertical lines across the
             staff.  b = bar-line.  7 (the Bar) Law a barristers
             collectively.  b the profession of barrister.  --v.tr.  (barred,
             barring) 1 a fasten (a door, window, etc.) with a bar or bars.
             b (usu. foll. by in, out) shut or keep in or out (barred him
             in).  2 obstruct, prevent (bar his progress).  3 a (usu. foll.
             by from) prohibit, exclude (bar them from attending).  b exclude
             from consideration (cf.  BARRING).  4 mark with stripes.  5 Law
             prevent or delay (an action) by objection.  --prep.  1 except
             (all were there bar a few).  2 Racing except (the horses
             indicated: used in stating the odds, indicating the number of
             horses excluded) (33-1 bar three).  Ьbar billiards a form of
             billiards in which balls are knocked into holes in the table.
             bar chart a chart using bars to represent quantity.  bar-code a
             machine-readable code in the form of a pattern of stripes
             printed on and identifying a commodity, used esp. for
             stock-control.  bar-line Mus.  a vertical line used to mark
             divisions between bars.  bar none with no exceptions.  bar
             person a barmaid or barman.  bar sinister = bend sinister (see
             BEND(2)).  bar tracery tracery with strips of stone across an
             aperture.  be called to the Bar Brit.  be admitted as a
             barrister.  be called within the Bar Brit.  be appointed a
             Queen's Counsel.  behind bars in prison.  the outer Bar
             barristers who are not Queen's Counsels.  [ME f. OF barre,
             barrer, f. Rmc]

   bar(2)    n.  esp. Meteorol.  a unit of pressure, 10(5) newton per square
             metre, approx. one atmosphere.  [Gk baros weight]

   barathea  n.  a fine woollen cloth, sometimes mixed with silk or cotton,
             used esp. for coats, suits, etc.  [19th c.: orig. unkn.]

   barb      n. & v.  --n.  1 a secondary backward-facing projection from an
             arrow, fish-hook, etc., angled to make extraction difficult.  2
             a deliberately hurtful remark.  3 a beardlike filament at the
             mouth of some fish, e.g. barbel and catfish.  4 any one of the
             fine hairlike filaments growing from the shaft of a feather,
             forming the vane.  --v.tr.  1 provide (an arrow, a fish-hook,
             etc.) with a barb or barbs.  2 (as barbed adj.) (of a remark
             etc.) deliberately hurtful.  Ьbarbed wire wire bearing sharp
             pointed spikes close together and used in fencing, or in warfare
             as an obstruction.  [ME f. OF barbe f. L barba beard]

   Barbadian n. & adj.  --n.  1 a native or national of Barbados in the W.
             Indies.  2 a person of Barbadian descent.  --adj. of or relating
             to Barbados or its people.

   barbarian n. & adj.  --n.  1 an uncultured or brutish person; a lout.  2 a
             member of a primitive community or tribe.  --adj.  1 rough and
             uncultured.  2 uncivilized.  [orig. of any foreigner with a
             different language or customs: F barbarien f.  barbare (as

   barbaric  adj.  1 brutal; cruel (flogging is a barbaric punishment).  2
             rough and uncultured; unrestrained.  3 of or like barbarians and
             their art or taste; primitive.  ЬЬbarbarically adv.  [ME f. OF
             barbarique or L barbaricus f. Gk barbarikos f.  barbaros

   barbarism n.  1 a the absence of culture and civilized standards;
             ignorance and rudeness.  b an example of this.  2 a word or
             expression not considered correct; a solecism.  3 anything
             considered to be in bad taste.  [F barbarisme f. L barbarismus
             f. Gk barbarismos f.  barbarizo speak like a foreigner f.
             barbaros foreign]

   barbarity n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 savage cruelty.  2 an example of this.

   barbarize v.tr. & intr.  (also -ise) make or become barbarous.
             ЬЬbarbarization n.

   barbarous adj.  1 uncivilized.  2 cruel.  3 coarse and unrefined.
             ЬЬbarbarously adv.  barbarousness n.  [orig. of any foreign
             language or people: f. L f. Gk barbaros foreign]

   Barbary ape
             n.  a macaque, Macaca sylvana, of N. Africa and Gibraltar.
             [Barbary, an old name of the western part of N. Africa, ult. f.
             Arab.  barbar BERBER]

   barbecue  n. & v.  --n.  1 a a meal cooked on an open fire out of doors,
             esp. meat grilled on a metal appliance.  b a party at which such
             a meal is cooked and eaten.  2 a the metal appliance used for
             the preparation of a barbecue.  b a fireplace, usu. of brick,
             containing such an appliance.  --v.tr.  (barbecues, barbecued,
             barbecuing) cook (esp. meat) on a barbecue.  Ьbarbecue sauce a
             highly seasoned sauce, usu. containing chillies, in which meat
             etc. may be cooked.  [Sp.  barbacoa f. Haitian barbac•a wooden
             frame on posts]

   barbel    n.  1 any large European freshwater fish of the genus Barbus,
             with fleshy filaments hanging from its mouth.  2 such a filament
             growing from the mouth of any fish.  [ME f. OF f. LL barbellus
             dimin. of barbus barbel f.  barba beard]

   barbell   n.  an iron bar with a series of graded discs at each end, used
             for weightlifting exercises.  [BAR(1) + BELL(1)]

   barber    n. & v.  --n. a person who cuts men's hair and shaves or trims
             beards as an occupation; a men's hairdresser.  --v.tr.  1 cut
             the hair, shave or trim the beard of.  2 cut or trim closely
             (barbered the grass).  Ьbarber-shop (or barber-shop quartet) US
             colloq.  a popular style of close harmony singing for four male
             voices.  barber's pole a spirally painted striped red and white
             pole hung outside barbers' shops as a business sign.  [ME & AF
             f. OF barbeor f. med.L barbator -oris f.  barba beard]

   barberry  n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 any shrub of the genus Berberis, with spiny
             shoots, yellow flowers, and ovoid red berries, often grown as
             hedges.  2 its berry.  [ME f. OF berberis, of unkn. orig.:
             assim. to BERRY]

   barbet    n.  any small brightly coloured tropical bird of the family
             Capitonidae, with bristles at the base of its beak.  [F f.
             barbe beard]

   barbette  n.  a platform in a fort or ship from which guns can be fired
             over a parapet etc. without an embrasure.  [F, dimin. of barbe

   barbican  n.  the outer defence of a city, castle, etc., esp. a double
             tower above a gate or drawbridge.  [ME f. OF barbacane, of unkn.

   barbitone n.  (US barbital) a sedative drug.  [as BARBITURIC ACID + -ONE,
             -al as in veronal]

             n.  any derivative of barbituric acid used in the preparation of
             sedative and sleep-inducing drugs.  [BARBITURIC + -ATE(1)]

   barbituric acid
             n.  Chem.  an organic acid from which various sedatives and
             sleep-inducing drugs are derived.  [F barbiturique f. G
             Barbiturs„ure (S„ure acid) f. the name Barbara]

   barbola   n. (in full barbola work) 1 the craft of making small models of
             fruit, flowers, etc.  from a plastic paste.  2 articles, e.g.
             mirrors, decorated with such models.  [arbitr. f.  barbotine
             clay slip for ornamenting pottery]

   barbule   n.  a minute filament projecting from the barb of a feather.  [L
             barbula, dimin. of barba beard]

   barbwire  n.  US = barbed wire (see BARB).

   barcarole n.  (also barcarolle) 1 a song sung by Venetian gondoliers.  2
             music in imitation of this.  [F barcarolle f. Venetian It.
             barcarola boatman's song f.  barca boat]

   bard(1)   n.  1 a hist. a Celtic minstrel.  b the winner of a prize for
             Welsh verse at an Eisteddfod.  2 poet. a poet, esp. one treating
             heroic themes.  Ьthe Bard (or the Bard of Avon) Shakespeare.
             ЬЬbardic adj.  [Gael. & Ir.  b rd, Welsh bardd, f. OCelt.]

   bard(2)   n. & v.  --n. a rasher of fat bacon placed on meat or game
             before roasting.  --v.tr. cover (meat etc.) with bards.  [F
             barde, orig. = horse's breastplate, ult. f. Arab.]

   bardy     n.  (pl.  -ies) Austral.  an edible wood-boring grub.

   bare      adj. & v.  --adj.  1 (esp. of part of the body) unclothed or
             uncovered (with bare head).  2 without appropriate covering or
             contents: a (of a tree) leafless.  b unfurnished; empty (bare
             rooms; the cupboard was bare).  c (of a floor) uncarpeted.  3 a
             undisguised (the bare truth).  b unadorned (bare facts).  4
             (attrib.) a scanty (a bare majority).  b mere (bare
             necessities).  --v.tr.  1 uncover, unsheathe (bared his teeth).
             2 reveal (bared his soul).  Ьbare contract Law a contract
             lacking a consideration and therefore void unless under seal.
             bare of without.  with one's bare hands without using tools or
             weapons.  ЬЬbareness n.  [OE b‘r, barian f. Gmc]

   bareback  adj. & adv.  on an unsaddled horse, donkey, etc.

   barefaced adj.  undisguised; impudent (barefaced cheek).  ЬЬbarefacedly
             adv.  barefacedness n.

   barefoot  adj. & adv.  (also barefooted) with nothing on the feet.
             Ьbarefoot doctor a paramedical worker with basic medical
             training, esp. in China.

   barЉge    n.  a silky gauze made from wool or other material.  [F f.
             BarЉges in SW France, where it was orig. made]

             adj. & adv.  without a covering for the head.

   barely    adv.  1 only just; scarcely (barely escaped).  2 scantily
             (barely furnished).  3 archaic openly, explicitly.

   barf      v. & n.  sl.  --v.intr. vomit or retch.  --n. an attack of
             vomiting.  [20th c.: orig. unkn.]

   barfly    n.  (pl.  -flies) colloq.  a person who frequents bars.

   bargain   n. & v.  --n.  1 a an agreement on the terms of a transaction or
             sale.  b this seen from the buyer's viewpoint (a bad bargain).
             2 something acquired or offered cheaply.  --v.intr. (often foll.
             by with, for) discuss the terms of a transaction (expected him
             to bargain, but he paid up; bargained with her; bargained for
             the table).  Ьbargain away part with for something worthless
             (had bargained away the estate).  bargain basement the basement
             of a shop where bargains are displayed.  bargain for (or colloq.
             on) (usu. with neg. actual or implied) be prepared for; expect
             (didn't bargain for bad weather; more than I bargained for).
             bargain on rely on.  drive a hard bargain pursue one's own
             profit in a transaction keenly.  into (US in) the bargain
             moreover; in addition to what was expected.  make (or strike) a
             bargain agree a transaction.  ЬЬbargainer n.  [ME f. OF
             bargaine, bargaignier, prob. f. Gmc]

   barge     n. & v.  --n.  1 a long flat-bottomed boat for carrying freight
             on canals, rivers, etc.  2 a long ornamental boat used for
             pleasure or ceremony.  3 a boat used by the chief officers of a
             man-of-war.  --v.intr.  1 (often foll. by around) lurch or rush
             clumsily about.  2 (foll. by in, into) a intrude or interrupt
             rudely or awkwardly (barged in while we were kissing).  b
             collide with (barged into her).  [ME f. OF perh. f. med.L barica
             f. Gk baris Egyptian boat]

             n.  a board (often ornamental) fixed to the gable-end of a roof
             to hide the ends of the roof timbers.  [perh. f. med.L bargus

   bargee    n.  Brit.  a person in charge of or working on a barge.

   bargepole n.  a long pole used for punting barges etc. and for fending off
             obstacles.  Ьwould not touch with a bargepole refuse to be
             associated or concerned with (a person or thing).

   barilla   n.  1 any plant of the genus Salsola found chiefly in Spain and
             Sicily.  2 an impure alkali made by burning either this or kelp.

   barite    n.  US = BARYTES.

   baritone  n. & adj.  --n.  1 a the second-lowest adult male singing voice.
             b a singer with this voice.  c a part written for it.  2 a an
             instrument that is second-lowest in pitch in its family.  b its
             player.  --adj. of the second-lowest range.  [It.  baritono f.
             Gk barutonos f.  barus heavy + tonos TONE]

   barium    n.  Chem.  a white reactive soft metallic element of the
             alkaline earth group.  °Symb.: Ba.  Ьbarium meal a mixture of
             barium sulphate and water, which is opaque to X-rays, and is
             given to patients requiring radiological examination of the
             stomach and intestines.  [BARYTA + -IUM]

   bark(1)   n. & v.  --n.  1 the sharp explosive cry of a dog, fox, etc.  2
             a sound resembling this cry.  --v.  1 intr. (of a dog, fox,
             etc.) give a bark.  2 tr. & intr. speak or utter sharply or
             brusquely.  3 intr. cough fiercely.  4 tr.  US sell or advertise
             publicly by calling out.  Ьone's bark is worse than one's bite
             one is not as ferocious as one appears.  bark up the wrong tree
             be on the wrong track; make an effort in the wrong direction.
             [OE beorcan]

   bark(2)   n. & v.  --n.  1 the tough protective outer sheath of the
             trunks, branches, and twigs of trees or woody shrubs.  2 this
             material used for tanning leather or dyeing material.  --v.tr.
             1 graze or scrape (one's shin etc.).  2 strip bark from (a tree
             etc.).  3 tan or dye (leather etc.) using the tannins found in
             bark.  [ME f. OIcel.  b”rkr bark-: perh. rel. to BIRCH]

   bark(3)   n.  poet.  a ship or boat.  [= BARQUE]

   barkeeper n.  (also barkeep) US a person serving drinks in a bar.

             esp. US var. of BARQUENTINE.

   barker    n.  a tout at an auction, sideshow, etc., who calls out for
             custom to passers-by.  [BARK(1) + -ER(1)]

   barley    n.  1 any of various hardy awned cereals of the genus Hordeum
             widely used as food and in malt liquors and spirits such as
             whisky.  2 the grain produced from this (cf.  pearl barley).
             Ьbarley sugar an amber-coloured sweet made of boiled sugar,
             traditionally shaped as a twisted stick.  barley water a drink
             made from water and a boiled barley mixture.  [OE b‘rlic (adj.)
             f.  b‘re, bere barley]

             n.  1 the grain of barley.  2 a former unit of measure (about a
             third of an inch) based on the length of a grain of barley.

   barleymow n.  Brit.  a stack of barley.

   barm      n.  1 the froth on fermenting malt liquor.  2 archaic or dial.
             yeast or leaven.  [OE beorma]

   barmaid   n.  a woman serving behind the bar of a public house, hotel,

   barman    n.  (pl.  -men) a man serving behind the bar of a public house,
             hotel, etc.

   barmbrack n.  (also barnbrack) Ir.  soft spicy bread with currants etc.
             [Ir.  bairigen breac speckled cake]

   Barmecide adj. & n.  --adj. illusory, imaginary; such as to disappoint.
             --n. a giver of benefits that are illusory or disappointing.
             [the name of a wealthy man in the Arabian Nights' Entertainments
             who gave a beggar a feast consisting of ornate but empty dishes]

   bar mitzvah
             n.  1 the religious initiation ceremony of a Jewish boy who has
             reached the age of 13.  2 the boy undergoing this ceremony.
             [Heb., = 'son of the commandment']

   barmy     adj.  (barmier, barmiest) esp. Brit.  sl.  crazy, stupid.
             ЬЬbarmily adv.  barminess n.  [earlier = frothy, f.  BARM]

   barn(1)   n.  1 a large farm building for storing grain etc.  2 derog. a
             large plain or unattractive building.  3 US a large shed for
             storing road or railway vehicles.  Ьbarn dance 1 an informal
             social gathering for country dancing, orig.  in a barn.  2 a
             dance for a number of couples forming a line or circle, with
             couples moving along it in turn.  barn-owl a kind of owl, Tyto
             alba, frequenting barns.  [OE bern, beren f.  bere barley + ern,
             ‘rn house]

   barn(2)   n.  Physics a unit of area, 10(-28) square metres, used esp. in
             particle physics.  °Symb.: b.  [perh. f. phrase 'as big as a

   barnacle  n.  1 any of various species of small marine crustaceans of the
             class Cirripedia which in adult form cling to rocks, ships'
             bottoms, etc.  2 a tenacious attendant or follower who cannot
             easily be shaken off.  Ьbarnacle goose an Arctic goose, Branta
             leucopsis, which visits Britain in winter.  ЬЬbarnacled adj.
             [ME bernak (= med.L bernaca), of unkn. orig.]

   barnbrack var. of BARMBRACK.

   barney    n.  (pl.  -eys) Brit.  colloq.  a noisy quarrel.  [perh. dial.]

   barnstorm v.intr.  1 tour rural districts giving theatrical performances
             (formerly often in barns).  2 US make a rapid tour holding
             political meetings.  3 US Aeron. give informal flying
             exhibitions; do stunt flying.  ЬЬbarnstormer n.

   barnyard  n.  the area around a barn; a farmyard.

   barograph n.  a barometer equipped to record its readings.  [Gk baros
             weight + -GRAPH]

   barometer n.  1 an instrument measuring atmospheric pressure, esp. in
             forecasting the weather and determining altitude.  2 anything
             which reflects changes in circumstances, opinions, etc.
             ЬЬbarometric adj.  barometrical adj.  barometry n.

   baron     n.  1 a a member of the lowest order of the British nobility.  b
             a similar member of a foreign nobility.  2 an important
             businessman or other powerful or influential person (sugar
             baron; newspaper baron).  3 hist. a person who held lands or
             property from the sovereign or a powerful overlord.  Ьbaron of
             beef an undivided double sirloin.  [ME f. AF barun, OF baron f.
             med.L baro, -onis man, of unkn. orig.]

   baronage  n.  1 barons or nobles collectively.  2 an annotated list of
             barons or peers.  [ME f. OF barnage (as BARON)]

   baroness  n.  1 a woman holding the rank of baron either as a life peerage
             or as a hereditary rank.  2 the wife or widow of a baron.  [ME
             f. OF baronesse (as BARON)]

   baronet   n.  a member of the lowest hereditary order of the British
             nobility.  [ME f. AL baronettus (as BARON)]

             n.  1 baronets collectively.  2 an annotated list of baronets.

   baronetcy n.  (pl.  -ies) the domain, rank, or tenure of a baronet.

   baronial  adj.  of, relating to, or befitting barons.

   barony    n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 the domain, rank, or tenure of a baron.  2 (in
             Ireland) a division of a county.  3 (in Scotland) a large manor
             or estate.  [ME f. OF baronie (as BARON)]

   baroque   adj. & n.  --adj.  1 highly ornate and extravagant in style,
             esp. of European art, architecture, and music of the 17th and
             18th c.  2 of or relating to this period.  --n.  1 the baroque
             style.  2 baroque art collectively.  [F (orig. = 'irregular
             pearl') f. Port.  barroco, of unkn. orig.]

   barouche  n.  a horse-drawn carriage with four wheels and a collapsible
             hood over the rear half, used esp. in the 19th c.  [G (dial.)
             Barutsche f. It.  baroccio ult. f. L birotus two-wheeled]

   barque    n.  1 a sailing-ship with the rear mast fore-and-aft-rigged and
             the remaining (usu. two) masts square-rigged.  2 poet. any boat.
             [ME f. F prob. f. Prov.  barca f. L barca ship's boat]

             n.  (also barkentine, barquantine) a sailing ship with the
             foremast square-rigged and the remaining (usu. two) masts
             fore-and-aft-rigged.  [BARQUE after brigantine]

             n. & v.  --n. (usu. in pl., often treated as sing.) 1 a building
             or building complex used to house soldiers.  2 any building used
             to accommodate large numbers of people.  3 a large building of a
             bleak or plain appearance.  --v.tr. place (soldiers etc.) in
             barracks.  Ьbarrack-room lawyer Brit.  a pompously argumentative
             person.  barrack-square a drill-ground near a barracks.  [F
             baraque f. It.  baracca or Sp.  barraca soldier's tent, of unkn.

             v.  Brit.  1 tr. shout or jeer at (players in a game, a
             performer, speaker, etc.).  2 intr. (of spectators at games
             etc.) shout or jeer.  [app. f.  BORAK]

             n.  (pl. same or barracoutas) 1 a long slender fish, Thyrsites
             atun, usu. found in southern oceans.  2 NZ a small narrow loaf
             of bread.  [var. of BARRACUDA]

   barracuda n.  (pl. same or barracudas) a large and voracious tropical
             marine fish of the family Sphyraenidae.  [Amer. Sp.  barracuda]

   barrage   n.  1 a concentrated artillery bombardment over a wide area.  2
             a rapid succession of questions or criticisms.  3 an artificial
             barrier, esp. in a river.  4 a heat or deciding event in
             fencing, show jumping, etc.  Ьbarrage balloon a large anchored
             balloon, often with netting suspended from it, used (usu. as one
             of a series) as a defence against low-flying aircraft.  [F f.
             barrer (as BAR(1))]

             n.  (pl. same or barramundis) any of various Australian
             freshwater fishes, esp.  Lates calcarifer, used as food.

   barrator  n.  1 a malicious person causing discord.  2 hist. a vexatious
             litigant.  [ME f. AF baratour, OF barateor trickster, f.  barat

   barratry  n.  1 fraud or gross negligence of a ship's master or crew at
             the expense of its owners or users.  2 hist. vexatious
             litigation or incitement to it.  3 hist. trade in the sale of
             Church or State appointments.  ЬЬbarratrous adj.  [ME f. OF
             baraterie (as BARRATOR)]

   barre     n.  a horizontal bar at waist level used in dance exercises.

   barr‚     n.  Mus.  a method of playing a chord on the guitar etc. with a
             finger laid across the strings at a particular fret, raising
             their pitch.  [F, past part. of barrer bar]

   barrel    n. & v.  --n.  1 a cylindrical container usu. bulging out in the
             middle, traditionally made of wooden staves with metal hoops
             round them.  2 the contents of this.  3 a measure of capacity,
             usu. varying from 30 to 40 gallons.  4 a cylindrical tube
             forming part of an object such as a gun or a pen.  5 the belly
             and loins of a four-legged animal, e.g. a horse.  --v.
             (barrelled, barrelling; US barreled, barreling) 1 tr. put into a
             barrel or barrels.  2 intr.  US sl. drive fast.  Ьbarrel-chested
             having a large rounded chest.  barrel-organ a mechanical musical
             instrument in which a rotating pin-studded cylinder acts on a
             series of pipe-valves, strings, or metal tongues.  barrel roll
             an aerobatic manoeuvre in which an aircraft follows a single
             turn of a spiral while rolling once about its longitudinal axis.
             barrel vault Archit.  a vault forming a half cylinder.  over a
             barrel colloq.  in a helpless position; at a person's mercy.
             [ME f. OF baril perh. f. Rmc.: rel to BAR(1)]

   barren    adj. & n.  --adj.  (barrener, barrenest) 1 a unable to bear
             young.  b unable to produce fruit or vegetation.  2 meagre,
             unprofitable.  3 dull, unstimulating.  4 (foll. by of) lacking
             in (barren of wit).  --n. a barren tract or tracts of land esp.
             (in pl.) in N. America.  ЬЬbarrenly adv.  barrenness n.  [ME f.
             AF barai(g)ne, OF barhaine etc., of unkn. orig.]

   barricade n. & v.  --n. a barrier, esp. one improvised across a street
             etc.  --v.tr. block or defend with a barricade.  [F f.  barrique
             cask f. Sp.  barrica, rel. to BARREL]

   barrier   n.  1 a fence or other obstacle that bars advance or access.  2
             an obstacle or circumstance that keeps people or things apart,
             or prevents communication (class barriers; a language barrier).
             3 anything that prevents progress or success.  4 a gate at a car
             park, railway station, etc., that controls access.  5 colloq. =
             sound barrier.  Ьbarrier cream a cream used to protect the skin
             from damage or infection.  barrier reef a coral reef separated
             from the shore by a broad deep channel.  [ME f. AF barrere, OF

   barring   prep.  except, not including.  [BAR(1) + -ING(2)]

   barrio    n.  (pl.  -os) (in the US) the Spanish-speaking quarter of a
             town or city.  [Sp., = district of a town]

   barrister n. (in full barrister-at-law) 1 Brit. a person called to the bar
             and entitled to practise as an advocate in the higher courts.  2
             US a lawyer.  [16th c.: f.  BAR(1), perh. after minister]

   barrow(1) n.  1 Brit. a two-wheeled handcart used esp. by street vendors.
             2 = WHEELBARROW.  3 a metal frame with two wheels used for
             transporting luggage etc.  Ьbarrow boy Brit.  a boy who sells
             wares from a barrow.  [OE bearwe f. Gmc]

   barrow(2) n.  Archaeol.  an ancient grave-mound or tumulus.  [OE beorg f.

   Bart.     abbr.  Baronet.

   bartender n.  a person serving behind the bar of a public house.

   barter    v. & n.  --v.  1 tr. exchange (goods or services) without using
             money.  2 intr. make such an exchange.  --n. trade by exchange
             of goods.  ЬЬbarterer n.  [prob. OF barater: see BARRATOR]

   bartizan  n.  Archit.  a battlemented parapet or an overhanging corner
             turret at the top of a castle or church tower.  ЬЬbartizaned
             adj.  [var. of bertisene, erron. spelling of bratticing: see

   baryon    n.  Physics an elementary particle that is of equal mass to or
             greater mass than a proton (i.e. is a nucleon or a hyperon).
             ЬЬbaryonic adj.  [Gk barus heavy + -ON]

             n.  the dense interior of the earth, including the mantle and
             core, enclosed by the lithosphere.  [Gk barus heavy + sphaira

   baryta    n.  barium oxide or hydroxide.  ЬЬbarytic adj.  [BARYTES, after
             soda etc.]

   barytes   n.  a mineral form of barium sulphate.  [Gk barus heavy, partly
             assim. to mineral names in -ites]

   basal     adj.  1 of, at, or forming a base.  2 fundamental.  Ьbasal
             metabolism the chemical processes occurring in an organism at
             complete rest.  [BASE(1) + -AL]

   basalt    n.  1 a dark basic volcanic rock whose strata sometimes form
             columns.  2 a kind of black stoneware resembling basalt.
             ЬЬbasaltic adj.  [L basaltes var. of basanites f. Gk f.  basanos

   bascule bridge
             n.  a type of drawbridge which is raised and lowered using
             counterweights.  [F, earlier bacule see-saw f.  battre bump +
             cul buttocks]

   base(1)   n. & v.  --n.  1 a a part that supports from beneath or serves
             as a foundation for an object or structure.  b a notional
             structure or entity on which something draws or depends (power
             base).  2 a principle or starting-point; a basis.  3 esp. Mil. a
             place from which an operation or activity is directed.  4 a a
             main or important ingredient of a mixture.  b a substance, e.g.
             water, in combination with which pigment forms paint etc.  5 a
             substance used as a foundation for make-up.  6 Chem. a substance
             capable of combining with an acid to form a salt and water and
             usu. producing hydroxide ions when dissolved in water.  7 Math.
             a number in terms of which other numbers or logarithms are
             expressed (see RADIX).  8 Archit. the part of a column between
             the shaft and pedestal or pavement.  9 Geom. a line or surface
             on which a figure is regarded as standing.  10 Surveying a known
             line used as a geometrical base for trigonometry.  11
             Electronics the middle part of a transistor separating the
             emitter from the collector.  12 Linguistics a root or stem as
             the origin of a word or a derivative.  13 Baseball etc. one of
             the four stations that must be reached in turn when scoring a
             run.  14 Bot. & Zool. the end at which an organ is attached to
             the trunk.  15 Heraldry the lowest part of a shield.  --v.tr.  1
             (usu. foll. by on, upon) found or establish (a theory based on
             speculation; his opinion was soundly based).  2 (foll. by at,
             in, etc.) station (troops were based in Malta).  Ьbase hospital
             esp.  Austral.  a hospital in a rural area, or (in warfare)
             removed from the field of action.  base pairing Biochem.
             complementary binding by means of hydrogen bonds of a purine to
             a pyrimidine base in opposite strands of nucleic acids.  base
             rate Brit.  the interest rate set by the Bank of England, used
             as the basis for other banks' rates.  base unit a unit that is
             defined arbitrarily and not by combinations of other units.  [F
             base or L basis stepping f. Gk]

   base(2)   adj.  1 lacking moral worth; cowardly, despicable.  2 menial.  3
             not pure; alloyed (base coin).  4 (of a metal) low in value
             (opp.  NOBLE, PRECIOUS).  ЬЬbasely adv.  baseness n.  [ME in
             sense 'of small height', f. F bas f. med.L bassus short (in L as
             a cognomen)]

   baseball  n.  1 a game played esp. in the US with teams of nine, a bat and
             ball, and a circuit of four bases which the batsman must
             complete.  2 the ball used in this game.

   baseboard n.  US a skirting-board.

   baseless  adj.  unfounded, groundless.  ЬЬbaselessly adv.  baselessness n.

   baseline  n.  1 a line used as a base or starting-point.  2 (in lawn
             tennis) the line marking each end of a court.

   baseload  n.  Electr.  the permanent load on power supplies etc.

   baseman   n.  (pl.  -men) Baseball a fielder stationed near a base.

   basement  n.  the lowest floor of a building, usu. at least partly below
             ground level.  [prob. Du., perh. f. It.  basamento column-base]

   bases     pl. of BASE(1), BASIS.

   bash      v. & n.  --v.  1 tr.  a strike bluntly or heavily.  b (often
             foll. by up) colloq. attack violently.  c (often foll. by down,
             in, etc.) damage or break by striking forcibly.  2 intr. (foll.
             by into) collide with.  --n.  1 a heavy blow.  2 sl. an attempt
             (had a bash at painting).  3 sl. a party or social event.
             [imit., perh. f.  bang, smash, dash, etc.]

   bashful   adj.  1 shy, diffident, self-conscious.  2 sheepish.
             ЬЬbashfully adv.  bashfulness n.  [obs.  bash (v.), = ABASH]

   BASIC     n.  a computer programming language using familiar English
             words, designed for beginners and widely used on microcomputers.
             [Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code]

   basic     adj. & n.  --adj.  1 forming or serving as a base.  2
             fundamental.  3 a simplest or lowest in level (basic pay; basic
             requirements).  b vulgar (basic humour).  4 Chem. having the
             properties of or containing a base.  5 Geol. (of volcanic rocks
             etc.) having less than 50 per cent silica.  6 Metallurgy of or
             produced in a furnace etc. which is made of a basic material.
             --n. (usu. in pl.) the fundamental facts or principles.  Ьbasic
             dye a dye consisting of salts of organic bases.  Basic English a
             simplified form of English limited to 850 selected words
             intended for international communication.  basic industry an
             industry of fundamental economic importance.  basic slag
             fertilizer containing phosphates formed as a by-product during
             steel manufacture.  basic wage Austral. & NZ the minimum living
             wage, fixed by industrial tribunal.  ЬЬbasically adv.  [BASE(1)
             + -IC]

   basicity  n.  Chem.  the number of protons with which a base will combine.

   basidium  n.  (pl.  basidia) a microscopic spore-bearing structure
             produced by certain fungi.  [mod.L f. Gk basidion dimin. of

   basil     n.  an aromatic herb of the genus Ocimum, esp.  O. basilicum (in
             full sweet basil), whose leaves are used as a flavouring in
             savoury dishes.  [ME f. OF basile f. med.L basilicus f. Gk
             basilikos royal]

   basilar   adj.  of or at the base (esp. of the skull).  [mod.L basilaris
             (as BASIS)]

   basilica  n.  1 an ancient Roman public hall with an apse and colonnades,
             used as a lawcourt and place of assembly.  2 a similar building
             used as a Christian church.  3 a church having special
             privileges from the Pope.  ЬЬbasilican adj.  [L f. Gk basilike
             (oikia, stoa) royal (house, portico) f.  basileus king]

   basilisk  n.  1 a mythical reptile with a lethal breath and look.  2 any
             small American lizard of the genus Basiliscus, with a crest from
             its back to its tail.  3 Heraldry a cockatrice.  [ME f. L
             basiliscus f. Gk basiliskos kinglet, serpent]

   basin     n.  1 a wide shallow open container, esp. a fixed one for
             holding water.  2 a hollow rounded depression.  3 any sheltered
             area of water where boats can moor safely.  4 a round valley.  5
             an area drained by rivers and tributaries.  6 Geol.  a a rock
             formation where the strata dip towards the centre.  b an
             accumulation of rock strata formed in this dip as a result of
             subsidence and sedimentation.  ЬЬbasinful n.  (pl.  -fuls).  [ME
             f. OF bacin f. med.L ba(s)cinus, perh. f. Gaulish]

   basipetal adj.  Bot.  (of each new part produced) developing nearer the
             base than the previous one did.  ЬЬbasipetally adv.  [BASIS + L
             petere seek]

   basis     n.  (pl.  bases) 1 the foundation or support of something, esp.
             an idea or argument.  2 the main or determining principle or
             ingredient (on a purely friendly basis).  3 the starting-point
             for a discussion etc.  [L f. Gk, = BASE(1)]

   bask      v.intr.  1 sit or lie back lazily in warmth and light (basking
             in the sun).  2 (foll. by in) derive great pleasure (from)
             (basking in glory).  Ьbasking shark a very large shark,
             Cetorhinus maximus, which often lies near the surface.  [ME,
             app. f. ON: rel. to BATHE]

   basket    n.  1 a container made of interwoven cane etc.  2 a container
             resembling this.  3 the amount held by a basket.  4 the goal in
             basketball, or a goal scored.  5 Econ. a group or range (of
             currencies).  6 euphem.  colloq. bastard.  Ьbasket weave a weave
             resembling that of a basket.  ЬЬbasketful n.  (pl.  -fuls).  [AF
             & OF basket, AL baskettum, of unkn. orig.]

             n.  1 a game between two teams of five or six, in which goals
             are scored by making the ball drop through hooped nets fixed
             high up at each end of the court.  2 the ball used in this game.

   basketry  n.  1 the art of making baskets.  2 baskets collectively.

             n.  1 material woven in the style of a basket.  2 the art of
             making this.

   basmati   n. (in full basmati rice) a superior kind of Indian rice.
             [Hindi, = fragrant]

   Basque    n. & adj.  --n.  1 a member of a people of the Western Pyrenees.
             2 the language of this people.  --adj. of or relating to the
             Basques or their language.  [F f. L Vasco -onis]

   basque    n.  a close-fitting bodice extending from the shoulders to the
             waist and often with a short continuation below waist level.

             n.  sculpture or carving in which the figures project slightly
             from the background.  [earlier basse relieve f. It.  basso
             rilievo low relief: later altered to F form]

   bass(1)   n. & adj.  --n.  1 a the lowest adult male singing voice.  b a
             singer with this voice.  c a part written for it.  2 the lowest
             part in harmonized music.  3 a an instrument that is the lowest
             in pitch in its family.  b its player.  4 colloq.  a a bass
             guitar or double-bass.  b its player.  5 the low-frequency
             output of a radio, record-player, etc., corresponding to the
             bass in music.  --adj.  1 lowest in musical pitch.  2
             deep-sounding.  Ьbass clef a clef placing F below middle C on
             the second highest line of the staff.  bass viol 1 a a viola da
             gamba.  b its player.  2 US a double-bass.  ЬЬbassist n. (in
             sense 4).  [alt. of BASE(2) after It.  basso]

   bass(2)   n.  (pl. same or basses) 1 the common perch.  2 a a marine fish
             of the family Serranidae, with spiny fins.  b a similar N.
             American marine fish, Morone saxatilis.  3 any of various
             American freshwater fish, esp.  Micropterus salmoides.  [earlier
             barse f. OE b‘rs]

   bass(3)   n.  = BAST.  [alt. f.  BAST]

   basset    n. (in full basset-hound) 1 a sturdy hunting-dog of a breed with
             a long body, short legs, and big ears.  2 this breed.  [F,
             dimin. of bas basse low: see BASE(2)]

             n.  an alto clarinet in F, with a dark tone.  [G, transl. of F
             cor de bassette f. It.  corno di bassetto f.  corno horn +
             bassetto dimin. of basso BASE(2)]

   bassinet  n.  a child's wicker cradle, usu. with a hood.  [F, dimin. of
             bassin BASIN]

   basso     n.  (pl.  -os or bassi) a singer with a bass voice.  Ьbasso
             profondo a bass singer with an exceptionally low range.  [It., =
             BASS(1); profondo deep]

   bassoon   n.  1 a a bass instrument of the oboe family, with a double
             reed.  b its player.  2 an organ stop with the quality of a
             bassoon.  ЬЬbassoonist n. (in sense 1).  [F basson f.  bas

             n.  (pl.  -os) = BAS-RELIEF.  [It.]

   basswood  n.  1 the American lime, Tilia americana.  2 the wood of this
             tree.  [BASS(3) + WOOD]

   bast      n.  the inner bark of lime, or other flexible fibrous bark, used
             as fibre in matting etc.  [OE b‘st f. Gmc]

   bastard   n. & adj.  --n.  1 a person born of parents not married to each
             other.  2 sl.  a an unpleasant or despicable person.  b a person
             of a specified kind (poor bastard; rotten bastard; lucky
             bastard).  3 sl. a difficult or awkward thing, undertaking, etc.
             --adj.  1 born of parents not married to each other;
             illegitimate.  2 (of things): a unauthorized, counterfeit.  b
             hybrid.  ЬЬbastardy n. (in sense 1 of n.).  [ME f. OF f. med.L
             bastardus, perh. f.  bastum pack-saddle]

             v.tr.  (also -ise) 1 declare (a person) illegitimate.  2
             corrupt, debase.  ЬЬbastardization n.

   baste(1)  v.tr.  moisten (meat) with gravy or melted fat during cooking.
             [16th c.: orig. unkn.]

   baste(2)  v.tr.  stitch loosely together in preparation for sewing; tack.
             [ME f. OF bastir sew lightly, ult. f. Gmc]

   baste(3)  v.tr.  beat soundly; thrash.  [perh. figurative use of BASTE(1)]

   bastille  n.  hist.  a fortress or prison.  [ME f. OF bastille f. Prov.
             bastir build: orig. of the fortress and prison in Paris,
             destroyed in 1789]

   bastinado n. & v.  --n. punishment by beating with a stick on the soles of
             the feet.  --v.tr.  (-oes, -oed) punish (a person) in this way.
             [Sp.  bastonada f.  baston BATON]

   bastion   n.  1 a projecting part of a fortification built at an angle of,
             or against the line of, a wall.  2 a thing regarded as
             protecting (bastion of freedom).  3 a natural rock formation
             resembling a bastion.  [F f. It.  bastione f.  bastire build]

   bat(1)    n. & v.  --n.  1 an implement with a handle, usu. of wood and
             with a flat or curved surface, used for hitting balls in games.
             2 a turn at using this.  3 a batsman, esp. in cricket, usu.
             described in some way (an excellent bat).  4 (usu. in pl.) an
             object like a table-tennis bat used to guide aircraft when
             taxiing.  --v.  (batted, batting) 1 tr. hit with or as with a
             bat.  2 intr. take a turn at batting.  Ьbat around 1 sl. potter
             aimlessly.  2 US discuss (an idea or proposal).  off one's own
             bat unprompted, unaided.  right off the bat US immediately.  [ME
             f. OE batt club, perh. partly f. OF batte club f.  battre

   bat(2)    n.  any mouselike nocturnal mammal of the order Chiroptera,
             capable of flight by means of membranous wings extending from
             its forelimbs.  Ьhave bats in the belfry be eccentric or crazy.
             like a bat out of hell very fast.  [16th c., alt. of ME bakke f.

   bat(3)    v.tr.  (batted, batting) wink (one's eyelid) (now usu. in phr.).
             Ьnot (or never) bat an eyelid colloq.  show no reaction or
             emotion.  [var. of obs.  bate flutter]

   batch     n. & v.  --n.  1 a number of things or persons forming a group
             or dealt with together.  2 an instalment (have sent off the
             latest batch).  3 the loaves produced at one baking.  4
             (attrib.) using or dealt with in batches, not as a continuous
             flow (batch production).  5 Computing a group of records
             processed as a single unit.  --v.tr. arrange or deal with in
             batches.  [ME f. OE b‘cce f.  bacan BAKE]

   bate      n.  (also bait) Brit.  sl.  a rage; a cross mood (is in an awful
             bate).  [BAIT(1) = state of baited person]

   bateau    n.  (pl.  bateaux) a light river-boat, esp. of the flat-bottomed
             kind used in Canada.  [F, = boat]

   bated     adj.  Ьwith bated breath very anxiously.  [past part. of obs.
             bate (v.) restrain, f.  ABATE]

   bateleur  n.  a short-tailed African eagle, Terathopius ecaudatus.  [F, =

   bath      n. & v.  --n.  (pl.  baths) 1 a (in full bath-tub) a container
             for liquid, usu. water, used for immersing and washing the body.
             b this with its contents (your bath is ready).  2 the act or
             process of immersing the body for washing or therapy (have a
             bath; take a bath).  3 a a vessel containing liquid in which
             something is immersed, e.g. a film for developing, for
             controlling temperature, etc.  b this with its contents.  4
             (usu. in pl.) a building with baths or a swimming pool, usu.
             open to the public.  --v.  Brit.  1 tr. wash (esp. a person) in
             a bath.  2 intr. take a bath.  Ьbath cube a cube of compacted
             bath salts.  bath salts soluble salts used for softening or
             scenting bath-water.  [OE b‘th f. Gmc]

   Bath bun  n.  Brit.  a round spiced kind of bun with currants, often iced.
             [Bath in S. England, named from its hot springs]

   Bath chair
             n.  a wheelchair for invalids.

   Bath chap see CHAP(3).

   bathe     v. & n.  --v.  1 intr. immerse oneself in water, esp. to swim or
             esp.  US wash oneself.  2 tr. immerse in or wash or treat with
             liquid esp. for cleansing or medicinal purposes.  3 tr. (of
             sunlight etc.) envelop.  --n.  Brit. immersion in liquid, esp.
             to swim.  Ьbathing-costume (or -suit) a garment worn for
             swimming.  [OE bathian f. Gmc]

   bather    n.  1 a person who bathes.  2 (in pl.) Austral. a bathing-suit.

   bathhouse n.  a building with baths for public use.

   batholith n.  a dome of igneous rock extending inwards to an unknown
             depth.  [G f. Gk bathos depth + -LITH]

   Bath Oliver
             n.  Brit.  propr.  a kind of savoury biscuit.  [Dr W.  Oliver of
             Bath d. 1764, who invented it]

             n.  an instrument used to measure the depth of water.  [Gk
             bathos depth + -METER]

   bathos    n.  an unintentional lapse in mood from the sublime to the
             absurd or trivial; a commonplace or ridiculous feature
             offsetting an otherwise sublime situation; an anticlimax.
             ЬЬbathetic adj.  bathotic adj.  [Gk, = depth]

   bathrobe  n.  US a loose coat usu. of towelling worn before and after
             taking a bath.

   bathroom  n.  1 a room containing a bath and usu. other washing
             facilities.  2 esp. US a room containing a lavatory.

             n.  a manned vessel for deep-sea diving.  [Gk bathus deep +
             skaphos ship]

             n.  a spherical vessel for deep-sea observation.  [Gk bathus
             deep + SPHERE]

   batik     n.  a method (orig. used in Java) of producing coloured designs
             on textiles by applying wax to the parts to be left uncoloured;
             a piece of cloth treated in this way.  [Jav., = painted]

   batiste   n. & adj.  --n. a fine linen or cotton cloth.  --adj. made of
             batiste.  [F (earlier batiche), perh. rel. to battre BATTER(1)]

   batman    n.  (pl.  -men) Mil.  an attendant serving an officer.  [OF bat,
             bast f. med.L bastum pack-saddle + MAN]

   baton     n.  1 a thin stick used by a conductor to direct an orchestra,
             choir, etc.  2 Athletics a short stick or tube carried and
             passed on by the runners in a relay race.  3 a long stick
             carried and twirled by a drum major.  4 a staff of office or
             authority, esp. a Field Marshal's.  5 a policeman's truncheon.
             6 Heraldry a narrow truncated bend.  7 Horol. a short bar
             replacing some figures on dials.  Ьbaton round a rubber or
             plastic bullet.  [F bѓton, baston ult. f. LL bastum stick]

             n. & adj.  --n. any of the amphibians that discard gills and
             tails, esp. the frog and toad.  --adj. of or relating to the
             batrachians.  [Gk batrakhos frog]

   bats      predic.adj.  sl.  crazy.  [f. phr. (have) bats in the belfry:
             see BAT(2)]

   batsman   n.  (pl.  -men) 1 a person who bats or is batting, esp. in
             cricket.  2 a signaller using bats to guide aircraft on the
             ground.  ЬЬbatsmanship n. (in sense 1).

   battalion n.  1 a large body of men ready for battle, esp. an infantry
             unit forming part of a brigade.  2 a large group of people
             pursuing a common aim or sharing a major undertaking.  [F
             battaillon f. It.  battaglione f.  battaglia BATTLE]

   battels   n.pl.  Brit.  an Oxford college account for expenses, esp. for
             board and the supply of provisions.  [perh. f. obs.  battle (v.)
             fatten f. obs.  battle (adj.) nutritious: cf.  BATTEN(2)]

   batten(1) n. & v.  --n.  1 a long flat strip of squared timber or metal,
             esp. used to hold something in place or as a fastening against a
             wall etc.  2 a strip of wood used for clamping the boards of a
             door etc.  3 Naut. a strip of wood or metal for securing a
             tarpaulin over a ship's hatchway.  --v.tr. strengthen or fasten
             with battens.  Ьbatten down the hatches 1 Naut. secure a ship's
             tarpaulins.  2 prepare for a difficulty or crisis.  [OF batant
             part. of batre beat f. L battuere]

   batten(2) v.intr.  (foll. by on) thrive or prosper at another's expense.
             [ON batna get better f.  bati advantage]

             n.  a kind of oblong cake, usu. of two colours of sponge and
             covered with marzipan.  [Battenberg in Germany]

   batter(1) v.  1 a tr. strike repeatedly with hard blows, esp. so as to
             cause visible damage.  b intr. (often foll. by against, at,
             etc.) strike repeated blows; pound heavily and insistently
             (batter at the door).  2 tr. (often in passive) a handle
             roughly, esp. over a long period.  b censure or criticize
             severely.  Ьbattered baby an infant that has suffered repeated
             violence from adults, esp.  its parents.  battered wife a wife
             subjected to repeated violence by her husband.  battering-ram
             hist.  a heavy beam, orig. with an end in the form of a carved
             ram's head, used in breaching fortifications.  ЬЬbatterer n.
             [ME f. AF baterer f. OF batre beat f. L battuere]

   batter(2) n.  1 a fluid mixture of flour, egg, and milk or water, used in
             cooking, esp. for pancakes and for coating food before frying.
             2 Printing an area of damaged type.  [ME f. AF batour f. OF
             bateЃre f.  batre: see BATTER(1)]

   batter(3) n.  Sport a player batting, esp. in baseball.

   batter(4) n. & v.  --n.  1 a wall etc. with a sloping face.  2 a receding
             slope.  --v.intr. have a receding slope.  [ME: orig. unkn.]

   battered  adj.  (esp. of fish) coated in batter and deep-fried.

   battery   n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 a usu. portable container of a cell or cells
             carrying an electric charge, as a source of current.  2 (often
             attrib.) esp. Brit. a series of cages for the intensive breeding
             and rearing of poultry or cattle.  3 a set of similar units of
             equipment, esp. connected.  4 a series of tests, esp.
             psychological.  5 a a fortified emplacement for heavy guns.  b
             an artillery unit of guns, men, and vehicles.  6 Law an act
             inflicting unlawful personal violence on another (see ASSAULT).
             7 Baseball the pitcher and the catcher.  [F batterie f.  batre,
             battre strike f. L battuere]

   batting   n.  1 the action of hitting with a bat.  2 cotton wadding
             prepared in sheets for use in quilts etc.  Ьbatting order the
             order in which people act or take their turn, esp. of batsmen in

   battle    n. & v.  --n.  1 a prolonged fight between large organized armed
             forces.  2 a contest; a prolonged or difficult struggle (life is
             a constant battle; a battle of wits).  --v.  1 intr. struggle;
             fight persistently (battled against the elements; battled for
             women's rights).  2 tr. fight (one's way etc.).  3 tr.  US
             engage in battle with.  Ьbattle-cruiser hist.  a heavy-gunned
             ship faster and more lightly armoured than a battleship.
             battle-cry a cry or slogan of participants in a battle or
             contest.  battle fatigue = combat fatigue.  battle royal 1 a
             battle in which several combatants or all available forces
             engage; a free fight.  2 a heated argument.  half the battle the
             key to the success of an undertaking.  ЬЬbattler n.  [ME f. OF
             bataille ult. f. LL battualia gladiatorial exercises f. L
             battuere beat]

   battleaxe n.  1 a large axe used in ancient warfare.  2 colloq. a
             formidable or domineering older woman.

             n.  hist.  1 a (in full battledore and shuttlecock) a game
             played with a shuttlecock and rackets.  b the racket used in
             this.  2 a kind of wooden utensil like a paddle, formerly used
             in washing, baking, etc.  [15th c., perh. f. Prov.  batedor
             beater f.  batre beat]

             n.  the everyday uniform of a soldier.

             n.  (also battleground) the piece of ground on which a battle is
             or was fought.

             n.  (usu. in pl.) 1 a parapet with recesses along the top of a
             wall, as part of a fortification.  2 a section of roof enclosed
             by this (walking on the battlements).  ЬЬbattlemented adj.  [OF
             bataillier furnish with ramparts + -MENT]

             n.  a warship with the heaviest armour and the largest guns.

   battue    n.  1 a the driving of game towards hunters by beaters.  b a
             shooting-party arranged in this way.  2 wholesale slaughter.
             [F, fem. past part. of battre beat f. L battuere]

   batty     adj.  (battier, battiest) sl.  crazy.  ЬЬbattily adv.  battiness
             n.  [BAT(2) + -Y(1)]

   batwing   adj.  (esp. of a sleeve or a flame) shaped like the wing of a

   batwoman  n.  (pl.  -women) a female attendant serving an officer in the
             women's services.  [as BATMAN + WOMAN]

   bauble    n.  1 a showy trinket or toy of little value.  2 a baton
             formerly used as an emblem by jesters.  [ME f. OF ba(u)bel
             child's toy, of unkn. orig.]

   baud      n.  (pl. same or bauds) Computing etc. 1 a unit used to express
             the speed of electronic code signals, corresponding to one
             information unit per second.  2 (loosely) a unit of
             data-transmission speed of one bit per second.  [J. M. E.
             Baudot, Fr. engineer d. 1903]

   Bauhaus   n.  1 a German school of architectural design (1919-33).  2 its
             principles, based on functionalism and development of existing
             skills.  [G f.  Bau building + Haus house]

   baulk     v. & n.  (also balk) --v.  1 intr.  a refuse to go on.  b (often
             foll. by at) hesitate.  2 tr.  a thwart, hinder.  b disappoint.
             3 tr.  a miss, let slip (a chance etc.).  b ignore, shirk.  --n.
             1 a hindrance; a stumbling-block.  2 a a roughly-squared timber
             beam.  b a tie-beam of a house.  3 Billiards etc. the area on a
             billiard-table from which a player begins a game.  4 Baseball an
             illegal action made by a pitcher.  5 a ridge left unploughed
             between furrows.  ЬЬbaulker n.  [OE balc f. ON b lkr f. Gmc]

   baulky    adj.  (also balky) (-ier, -iest) reluctant, perverse.
             ЬЬbaulkiness n.  [BAULK + -Y(1)]

   bauxite   n.  a claylike mineral containing varying proportions of
             alumina, the chief source of aluminium.  ЬЬbauxitic adj.  [F f.
             Les Baux near Arles in S. France + -ITE(1)]

   bawd      n.  a woman who runs a brothel.  [ME bawdstrot f. OF baudetrot,
             baudestroyt procuress]

   bawdy     adj. & n.  --adj.  (bawdier, bawdiest) humorously indecent.
             --n. bawdy talk or writing.  Ьbawdy-house a brothel.  ЬЬbawdily
             adv.  bawdiness n.  [BAWD + -Y(1)]

   bawl      v.  1 tr. speak or call out noisily.  2 intr. weep loudly.
             Ьbawl out colloq.  reprimand angrily.  ЬЬbawler n.  [imit.: cf.
             med.L baulare bark, Icel.  baula (Sw.  b”la) to low]

   bay(1)    n.  1 a broad inlet of the sea where the land curves inwards.  2
             a recess in a mountain range.  ЬBay State US Massachusetts.  [ME
             f. OF baie f. OSp.  bahia]

   bay(2)    n.  1 (in full bay laurel) a laurel, Laurus nobilis, having deep
             green leaves and purple berries. Also called SWEET BAY.  2 (in
             pl.) a wreath made of bay-leaves, for a victor or poet.
             Ьbay-leaf the aromatic (usu. dried) leaf of the bay-tree, used
             in cooking.  bay rum a perfume, esp. for the hair, distilled
             orig. from bayberry leaves in rum.  [OF baie f. L baca berry]

   bay(3)    n.  1 a space created by a window-line projecting outwards from
             a wall.  2 a recess; a section of wall between buttresses or
             columns, esp. in the nave of a church etc.  3 a compartment
             (bomb bay).  4 an area specially allocated or marked off (sick
             bay; loading bay).  5 Brit. the terminus of a branch line at a
             railway station also having through lines, usu. at the side of
             an outer platform.  Ьbay window a window built into a bay.  [ME
             f. OF baie f.  ba(y)er gape f. med.L batare]

   bay(4)    adj. & n.  --adj. (esp. of a horse) dark reddish-brown.  --n. a
             bay horse with a black mane and tail.  [OF bai f. L badius]

   bay(5)    v. & n.  --v.  1 intr. (esp. of a large dog) bark or howl loudly
             and plaintively.  2 tr. bay at.  --n. the sound of baying, esp.
             in chorus from hounds in close pursuit.  Ьat bay 1 cornered,
             apparently unable to escape.  2 in a desperate situation.  bring
             to bay gain on in pursuit; trap.  hold (or keep) at bay hold off
             (a pursuer).  stand at bay turn to face one's pursuers.  [ME f.
             OF bai, baiier bark f. It.  baiare, of imit. orig.]

   bayberry  n.  (pl.  -ies) any of various N. American plants of the genus
             Myrica, having aromatic leaves and bearing berries covered in a
             wax coating.  [BAY(2) + BERRY]

   bayonet   n. & v.  --n.  1 a stabbing blade attachable to the muzzle of a
             rifle.  2 an electrical or other fitting engaged by being pushed
             into a socket and twisted.  --v.tr.  (bayoneted, bayoneting)
             stab with a bayonet.  [F ba‹onnette, perh. f.  Bayonne in SW
             France, where they were first made]

   bayou     n.  a marshy offshoot of a river etc. in the southern US.
             [Amer. F: cf. Choctau bayuk]

   bazaar    n.  1 a market in an oriental country.  2 a fund-raising sale of
             goods, esp. for charity.  3 a large shop selling fancy goods
             etc.  [Pers.  bazar, prob. through Turk. and It.]

   bazooka   n.  1 a tubular short-range rocket-launcher used against tanks.
             2 a crude trombone-like musical instrument.  [app. f.  bazoo
             mouth, of unkn. orig.]

3.0 BB...

   BB        abbr.  double-black (pencil-lead).

   BBC       abbr.  British Broadcasting Corporation.  ЬBBC English English
             as supposedly pronounced by BBC announcers.

   bbl.      abbr.  barrels (esp. of oil).

4.0 BC...

   BC        abbr.  British Columbia.

   BC        abbr.  (of a date) before Christ.

   BCD       n.  Computing a code representing decimal numbers as a string of
             binary digits.  [abbr. for binary coded decimal]

   BCE       abbr.  before the Common Era.

   BCG       abbr.  Bacillus Calmette-Gu‚rin, an anti-tuberculosis vaccine.

5.0 BD...

   BD        abbr.  Bachelor of Divinity.

   Bde       abbr.  Brigade.

   bdellium  n.  1 any of various trees, esp. of the genus Commiphora,
             yielding resin.  2 this fragrant resin used in perfumes.  [L f.
             Gk bdellion f. Heb.  bedholah]

   Bdr.      abbr.  (before a name) Bombardier.

   BDS       abbr.  Bachelor of Dental Surgery.

6.0 BE...

   BE        abbr.  1 Bachelor of Education.  2 Bachelor of Engineering.  3
             bill of exchange.

   Be        symb.  Chem.  the element beryllium.

   be        v. & v.aux.  (sing. present am; are; is; pl. present are; 1st
             and 3rd sing. past was; 2nd sing. past and pl. past were;
             present subj.  be; past subj.  were; pres. part.  being; past
             part.  been) --v.intr.  1 (often prec. by there) exist, live (I
             think, therefore I am; there is a house on the corner; there is
             no God).  2 a occur; take place (dinner is at eight).  b occupy
             a position in space (he is in the garden; she is from abroad;
             have you been to Paris?).  3 remain, continue (let it be).  4
             linking subject and predicate, expressing: a identity (she is
             the person; today is Thursday).  b condition (he is ill today).
             c state or quality (he is very kind; they are my friends).  d
             opinion (I am against hanging).  e total (two and two are four).
             f cost or significance (it is њ5 to enter; it is nothing to me).
             --v.aux.  1 with a past participle to form the passive mood (it
             was done; it is said; we shall be helped).  2 with a present
             participle to form continuous tenses (we are coming; it is being
             cleaned).  3 with an infinitive to express duty or commitment,
             intention, possibility, destiny, or hypothesis (I am to tell
             you; we are to wait here; he is to come at four; it was not to
             be found; they were never to meet again; if I were to die).  4
             archaic with the past participle of intransitive verbs to form
             perfect tenses (the sun is set; Babylon is fallen).  Ьbe about
             occupy oneself with (is about his business).  be-all and end-all
             colloq. (often foll. by of) the whole being or essence.  be at
             occupy oneself with (what is he at?; mice have been at the
             food).  been (or been and gone) and sl.  an expression of
             protest or surprise (he's been and taken my car!).  be off
             colloq.  go away; leave.  be that as it may see MAY.  -to-be of
             the future (in comb.  : bride-to-be).  [OE beo(m), (e)am, is,
             (e)aron; past f. OE w‘s f.  wesan to be; there are numerous Gmc

   be-       prefix forming verbs: 1 (from transitive verbs) a all over; all
             round (beset; besmear).  b thoroughly, excessively (begrudge;
             belabour).  2 (from intransitive verbs) expressing transitive
             action (bemoan; bestride).  3 (from adjectives and nouns)
             expressing transitive action (befool; befoul).  4 (from nouns) a
             affect with (befog).  b treat as (befriend).  c (forming
             adjectives in -ed) having; covered with (bejewelled;
             bespectacled).  [OE be-, weak form of bi BY as in bygone,
             byword, etc.]

   BEA       abbr.  British Epilepsy Association.

   beach     n. & v.  --n. a pebbly or sandy shore esp. of the sea between
             high- and low-water marks.  --v.tr. run or haul up (a boat etc.)
             on to a beach.  Ьbeach-ball a large inflated ball for games on
             the beach.  beach buggy a low wide-wheeled motor vehicle for
             recreational driving on sand.  beach plum 1 a maritime N.
             American shrub, Prunus maritima.  2 its edible fruit.  [16th c.:
             orig. unkn.]

             n.  1 a vagrant who lives by searching beaches for articles of
             value.  2 a long wave rolling in from the sea.

   beachhead n.  Mil.  a fortified position established on a beach by landing
             forces.  [after bridgehead]

             n.  Brit.  = BISLAMA.  [corrupt. f. Port.  bicho do mar

   beacon    n.  1 a a fire or light set up in a high or prominent position
             as a warning etc.  b Brit. (now often in place-names) a hill
             suitable for this.  2 a visible warning or guiding point or
             device (e.g. a lighthouse, navigation buoy, etc.).  3 a radio
             transmitter whose signal helps fix the position of a ship or
             aircraft.  4 Brit. = BELISHA BEACON.  [OE beacn f. WG]

   bead      n. & v.  --n.  1 a a small usu. rounded and perforated piece of
             glass, stone, etc., for threading with others to make jewellery,
             or sewing on to fabric, etc.  b (in pl.) a string of beads; a
             rosary.  2 a drop of liquid; a bubble.  3 a small knob in the
             foresight of a gun.  4 the inner edge of a pneumatic tyre that
             grips the rim of the wheel.  5 Archit.  a a moulding like a
             series of beads.  b a narrow moulding with a semicircular
             cross-section.  --v.  1 tr. furnish or decorate with beads.  2
             tr. string together.  3 intr. form or grow into beads.  Ьdraw a
             bead on take aim at.  tell one's beads use the beads of a rosary
             etc. in counting prayers.  ЬЬbeaded adj.  [orig. = 'prayer' (for
             which the earliest use of beads arose): OE gebed f. Gmc, rel. to

   beading   n.  1 decoration in the form of or resembling a row of beads,
             esp. lacelike looped edging.  2 Archit. a bead moulding.  3 the
             bead of a tyre.

   beadle    n.  1 Brit. a ceremonial officer of a church, college, etc.  2
             Sc. a church officer attending on the minister.  3 Brit.  hist.
             a minor parish officer dealing with petty offenders etc.
             ЬЬbeadleship n.  [ME f. OF bedel ult. f. Gmc]

   beadsman  n.  (pl.  -men) hist.  1 a pensioner provided for by a
             benefactor in return for prayers.  2 an inmate of an almshouse.

   beady     adj.  (beadier, beadiest) 1 (of the eyes) small, round, and
             bright.  2 covered with beads or drops.  Ьbeady-eyed with beady
             eyes.  ЬЬbeadily adv.  beadiness n.

   beagle    n. & v.  --n.  1 a a small hound of a breed with a short coat,
             used for hunting hares.  b this breed.  2 hist. an informer or
             spy; a constable.  --v.intr. (often as beagling n.) hunt with
             beagles.  ЬЬbeagler n.  [ME f. OF beegueule noisy person, prob.
             f.  beer open wide + gueule throat]

   beak(1)   n.  1 a a bird's horny projecting jaws; a bill.  b the similar
             projecting jaw of other animals, e.g. a turtle.  2 sl. a hooked
             nose.  3 Naut.  hist. the projection at the prow of a warship.
             4 a spout.  ЬЬbeaked adj.  beaky adj.  [ME f. OF bec f. L
             beccus, of Celt. orig.]

   beak(2)   n.  Brit.  sl.  1 a magistrate.  2 a schoolmaster.  [19th c.:
             prob. f. thieves' cant]

   beaker    n.  1 a tall drinking-vessel, usu. of plastic and
             tumbler-shaped.  2 a lipped cylindrical glass vessel for
             scientific experiments.  3 archaic or literary a large
             drinking-vessel with a wide mouth.  ЬBeaker Folk Archaeol.  a
             people thought to have come to Britain from Central Europe in
             the early Bronze Age, named after beaker-shaped pottery found in
             their graves.  [ME f. ON bikarr, perh. f. Gk bikos

   beam      n. & v.  --n.  1 a long sturdy piece of squared timber or metal
             spanning an opening or room, usu. to support the structure
             above.  2 a a ray or shaft of light.  b a directional flow of
             particles or radiation.  3 a bright look or smile.  4 a a series
             of radio or radar signals as a guide to a ship or aircraft.  b
             the course indicated by this (off beam).  5 the crossbar of a
             balance.  6 a a ship's breadth at its widest point.  b the width
             of a person's hips (esp.  broad in the beam).  7 (in pl.) the
             horizontal cross-timbers of a ship supporting the deck and
             joining the sides.  8 the side of a ship (land on the port
             beam).  9 the chief timber of a plough.  10 the cylinder in a
             loom on which the warp or cloth is wound.  11 the main stem of a
             stag's antlers.  12 the lever in an engine connecting the
             piston-rod and crank.  13 the shank of an anchor.  --v.  1 tr.
             emit or direct (light, radio waves, etc.).  2 intr.  a shine.  b
             look or smile radiantly.  Ьbeam-compass (or -compasses)
             compasses with a beam connecting sliding sockets, used for large
             circles.  a beam in one's eye a fault that is greater in oneself
             than in the person one is finding fault with (see Matt. 7:3).
             off beam colloq.  mistaken.  on the beam colloq.  on the right
             track.  on the beam-ends (of a ship) on its side; almost
             capsizing.  on one's beam-ends near the end of one's resources.
             [OE beam tree f. WG]

   beamer    n.  Cricket colloq.  a ball bowled at a batsman's head.

   beamy     adj.  (of a ship) broad-beamed.

   bean      n. & v.  --n.  1 a any kind of leguminous plant with edible usu.
             kidney-shaped seeds in long pods.  b one of these seeds.  2 a
             similar seed of coffee and other plants.  3 US sl. the head.  4
             (in pl.; with neg.) US sl. anything at all (doesn't know beans
             about it).  --v.tr.  US sl. hit on the head.  Ьbean curd jelly
             or paste made from beans, used esp. in Asian cookery.  bean
             sprout a sprout of a bean seed, esp. of the mung bean, used as
             food.  full of beans colloq.  lively; in high spirits.  not a
             bean Brit.  sl.  no money.  old bean Brit.  sl.  a friendly form
             of address, usu. to a man.  [OE bean f. Gmc]

   beanbag   n.  1 a small bag filled with dried beans and used esp. in
             children's games.  2 a large cushion filled usu. with
             polystyrene beads and used as a seat.

   beanery   n.  (pl.  -ies) US sl.  a cheap restaurant.

   beanfeast n.  1 Brit.  colloq. a celebration; a merry time.  2 an
             employer's annual dinner given to employees.  [BEAN + FEAST,
             beans and bacon being regarded as an indispensable dish]

   beanie    n.  a small close-fitting hat worn on the back of the head.
             [perh. f.  BEAN 'head' + -IE]

   beano     n.  (pl.  -os) Brit.  sl.  a celebration; a party.  [abbr. of

   beanpole  n.  1 a stick for supporting bean plants.  2 colloq. a tall thin

   beanstalk n.  the stem of a bean plant.

   bear(1)   v.  (past bore; past part.  borne, born) °In the passive born is
             used with reference to birth (e.g.  was born in July), except
             for borne by foll. by the name of the mother (e.g.  was borne by
             Sarah).  1 tr. carry, bring, or take (esp. visibly) (bear
             gifts).  2 tr. show; be marked by; have as an attribute or
             characteristic (bear marks of violence; bears no relation to the
             case; bore no name).  3 tr.  a produce, yield (fruit etc.).  b
             give birth to (has borne a son; was born last week).  4 tr.  a
             sustain (a weight, responsibility, cost, etc.).  b stand, endure
             (an ordeal, difficulty, etc.).  5 tr. (usu. with neg. or
             interrog.) a tolerate; put up with (can't bear him; how can you
             bear it?).  b admit of; be fit for (does not bear thinking
             about).  6 tr. carry in thought or memory (bear a grudge).  7
             intr. veer in a given direction (bear left).  8 tr. bring or
             provide (something needed) (bear him company).  9 refl. behave
             (in a certain way).  Ьbear arms 1 carry weapons; serve as a
             soldier.  2 wear or display heraldic devices.  bear away (or
             off) win (a prize etc.).  bear down exert downward pressure.
             bear down on approach rapidly or purposefully.  bear fruit have
             results.  bear a hand help.  bear hard on oppress.  bear in mind
             take into account having remembered.  bear on (or upon) be
             relevant to.  bear out support or confirm (an account or the
             person giving it).  bear repeating be worth repetition.  bear up
             raise one's spirits; not despair.  bear with treat forbearingly;
             tolerate patiently.  bear witness testify.  [OE beran f. Gmc]

   bear(2)   n. & v.  --n.  1 any large heavy mammal of the family Ursidae,
             having thick fur and walking on its soles.  2 a rough,
             unmannerly, or uncouth person.  3 Stock Exch. a person who sells
             shares hoping to buy them back later at a lower price.  4 =
             TEDDY.  5 (the Bear) colloq. Russia.  --v.  Stock Exch.  1 intr.
             speculate for a fall in price.  2 tr. produce a fall in the
             price of (stocks etc.).  Ьbear-baiting hist.  an entertainment
             involving setting dogs to attack a captive bear.  bear-hug a
             tight embrace.  bear market Stock Exch.  a market with falling
             prices.  bear's breech a kind of acanthus, Acanthus mollis.
             bear's ear auricula.  bear's foot a hellebore, Helleborus
             fetidus.  the Great Bear, the Little Bear two constellations
             near the North Pole.  like a bear with a sore head Brit.
             colloq.  very irritable.  [OE bera f. WG]

   bearable  adj.  that may be endured or tolerated.  ЬЬbearability n.
             bearableness n.  bearably adv.

   beard     n. & v.  --n.  1 hair growing on the chin and lower cheeks of
             the face.  2 a similar tuft or part on an animal (esp. a goat).
             3 the awn of a grass, sheath of barley, etc.  --v.tr. oppose
             openly; defy.  ЬЬbearded adj.  beardless adj.  [OE f. WG]

   beardie   n.  Brit.  colloq.  a bearded man.

   bearer    n.  1 a person or thing that bears, carries, or brings.  2 a
             carrier of equipment on an expedition etc.  3 a person who
             presents a cheque or other order to pay money.  4 (attrib.)
             payable to the possessor (bearer stock).  5 hist. (in India
             etc.) a personal servant.

             n.  a rowdy or noisy scene.

   bearing   n.  1 a person's bodily attitude or outward behaviour.  2 (foll.
             by on, upon) relation or relevance to (his comments have no
             bearing on the subject).  3 endurability (beyond bearing).  4 a
             part of a machine that supports a rotating or other moving part.
             5 direction or position relative to a fixed point, measured esp.
             in degrees.  6 (in pl.) a one's position relative to one's
             surroundings.  b awareness of this; a sense of one's orientation
             (get one's bearings; lose one's bearings).  7 Heraldry a device
             or charge.  8 = ball-bearing (see BALL(1)).  Ьbearing-rein a
             fixed rein from bit to saddle that forces a horse to arch its

   bearish   adj.  1 like a bear, esp. in temper.  2 Stock Exch. causing or
             associated with a fall in prices.

   B‚arnaise sauce
             n.  a rich sauce thickened with egg yolks and flavoured with
             tarragon.  [F, fem. of b‚arnais of B‚arn in SW France]

   bearskin  n.  1 a the skin of a bear.  b a wrap etc. made of this.  2 a
             tall furry hat worn ceremonially by some regiments.

   beast     n.  1 an animal other than a human being, esp. a wild quadruped.
             2 a a brutal person.  b colloq. an objectionable or unpleasant
             person or thing (he's a beast for not inviting her; a beast of a
             problem).  3 (prec. by the) a human being's brutish or
             uncivilized characteristics (saw the beast in him).  Ьbeast of
             burden an animal, e.g. an ox, used for carrying loads.  beast of
             prey see PREY.  [ME f. OF beste f. Rmc besta f. L bestia]

   beastie   n.  Sc. or joc.  a small animal.

   beastly   adj. & adv.  --adj.  (beastlier, beastliest) 1 colloq.
             objectionable, unpleasant.  2 like a beast; brutal.  --adv.
             colloq. very, extremely.  ЬЬbeastliness n.

   beat      v., n., & adj.  --v.  (past beat; past part.  beaten) 1 tr.  a
             strike (a person or animal) persistently or repeatedly, esp. to
             harm or punish.  b strike (a thing) repeatedly, e.g. to remove
             dust from (a carpet etc.), to sound (a drum etc.).  2 intr.
             (foll. by against, at, on, etc.)  a pound or knock repeatedly
             (waves beat against the shore; beat at the door).  b = beat down
             3.  3 tr.  a overcome; surpass; win a victory over.  b complete
             an activity before (another person etc.).  c be too hard for;
             perplex.  4 tr. (often foll. by up) stir (eggs etc.) vigorously
             into a frothy mixture.  5 tr. (often foll. by out) fashion or
             shape (metal etc.) by blows.  6 intr. (of the heart, a drum,
             etc.) pulsate rhythmically.  7 tr. (often foll. by out) a
             indicate (a tempo or rhythm) by gestures, tapping, etc.  b sound
             (a signal etc.) by striking a drum or other means (beat a
             tattoo).  8 a intr. (of a bird's wings) move up and down.  b tr.
             cause (wings) to move in this way.  9 tr. make (a path etc.) by
             trampling.  10 tr. strike (bushes etc.) to rouse game.  11 intr.
             Naut. sail in the direction from which the wind is blowing.
             --n.  1 a a main accent or rhythmic unit in music or verse
             (three beats to the bar; missed a beat and came in early).  b
             the indication of rhythm by a conductor's movements (watch the
             beat).  c (in popular music) a strong rhythm.  d (attrib.)
             characterized by a strong rhythm (beat music).  2 a a stroke or
             blow (e.g. on a drum).  b a measured sequence of strokes (the
             beat of the waves on the rocks).  c a throbbing movement or
             sound (the beat of his heart).  3 a a route or area allocated to
             a police officer etc.  b a person's habitual round.  4 Physics a
             pulsation due to the combination of two sounds or electric
             currents of similar but not equivalent frequencies.  5 colloq. =
             BEATNIK.  --adj.  1 (predic.) sl. exhausted, tired out.  2
             (attrib.) of the beat generation or its philosophy.  Ьbeat about
             (often foll. by for) search (for an excuse etc.).  beat about
             the bush discuss a matter without coming to the point.  beat the
             bounds Brit.  mark parish boundaries by striking certain points
             with rods.  beat one's breast strike one's chest in anguish or
             sorrow.  beat the clock complete a task within a stated time.
             beat down 1 a bargain with (a seller) to lower the price.  b
             cause a seller to lower (the price).  2 strike (a resisting
             object) until it falls (beat the door down).  3 (of the sun,
             rain, etc.) radiate heat or fall continuously and vigorously.
             beat the drum for publicize, promote.  beaten at the post
             defeated at the last moment.  beat generation the members of a
             movement of young people esp. in the 1950s who rejected
             conventional society in their dress, habits, and beliefs.  beat
             in crush.  beat it sl.  go away.  beat off drive back (an attack
             etc.).  beat a retreat withdraw; abandon an undertaking.  beat
             time indicate or follow a musical tempo with a baton or other
             means.  beat a person to it arrive or achieve something before
             another person.  beat up give a beating to, esp. with punches
             and kicks.  beat-up adj.  colloq.  dilapidated; in a state of
             disrepair.  it beats me I do not understand (it).  ЬЬbeatable
             adj.  [OE beatan f. Gmc]

   beaten    adj.  1 outwitted; defeated.  2 exhausted; dejected.  3 (of gold
             or any other metal) shaped by a hammer.  4 (of a path etc.)
             well-trodden, much-used.  Ьoff the beaten track 1 in or into an
             isolated place.  2 unusual.  [past part. of BEAT]

   beater    n.  1 a person employed to rouse game for shooting.  2 an
             implement used for beating (esp. a carpet or eggs).  3 a person
             who beats metal.

   beatific  adj.  1 colloq. blissful (a beatific smile).  2 a of or relating
             to blessedness.  b making blessed.  ЬЬbeatifically adv.  [F
             b‚atifique or L beatificus f.  beatus blessed]

             n.  1 RC Ch. the act of formally declaring a dead person
             'blessed', often a step towards canonization.  2 making or being
             blessed.  [F b‚atification or eccl.L beatificatio (as BEATIFY)]

   beatify   v.tr.  (-ies, -ied) 1 RC Ch. announce the beatification of.  2
             make happy.  [F b‚atifier or eccl.L beatificare f. L beatus

   beating   n.  1 a physical punishment or assault.  2 a defeat.  Ьtake some
             (or a lot of) beating be difficult to surpass.

   beatitude n.  1 blessedness.  2 (in pl.) the declarations of blessedness
             in Matt. 5:3-11.  3 a title given to patriarchs in the Orthodox
             Church.  [F b‚atitude or L beatitudo f.  beatus blessed]

   beatnik   n.  a member of the beat generation (see BEAT).  [BEAT + -nik
             after sputnik, perh. infl. by US use of Yiddish -nik

   beau      n.  (pl.  beaux or beaus) 1 esp.  US an admirer; a boyfriend.  2
             a fop; a dandy.  [F, = handsome, f. L bellus]

   Beaufort scale
             n.  a scale of wind speed ranging from 0 (calm) to 12
             (hurricane).  [Sir F.  Beaufort, Engl. admiral d. 1857]

   beau geste
             n.  (pl.  beaux gestes pronunc. same) a generous or gracious
             act.  [F, = splendid gesture]

   beau ideal
             n.  (pl.  beaux ideals) the highest type of excellence or
             beauty.  [F beau id‚al = ideal beauty: see BEAU, IDEAL]

             n.  a red or white burgundy wine from the Beaujolais district of

   beau monde
             n.  fashionable society.  [F]

   beaut     n. & adj.  Austral. & NZ sl.  --n. an excellent or beautiful
             person or thing.  --adj. excellent; beautiful.  [abbr. of

   beauteous adj.  poet.  beautiful.  [ME f.  BEAUTY + -OUS, after bounteous,

             n.  1 a person who gives beauty treatment.  2 a person who runs
             or owns a beauty salon.

   beautiful adj.  1 delighting the aesthetic senses (a beautiful voice).  2
             pleasant, enjoyable (had a beautiful time).  3 excellent (a
             beautiful specimen).  ЬЬbeautifully adv.

   beautify  v.tr.  (-ies, -ied) make beautiful; adorn.  ЬЬbeautification n.
             beautifier n.

   beauty    n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 a a combination of qualities such as shape,
             colour, etc., that pleases the aesthetic senses, esp. the sight.
             b a combination of qualities that pleases the intellect or moral
             sense (the beauty of the argument).  2 colloq.  a an excellent
             specimen (what a beauty!).  b an attractive feature; an
             advantage (that's the beauty of it!).  3 a beautiful woman.
             Ьbeauty is only skin-deep a pleasing appearance is not a guide
             to character.  beauty parlour (or salon) an establishment in
             which massage, manicure, hairdressing, make-up, etc., are
             offered to women.  beauty queen the woman judged most beautiful
             in a competition.  beauty sleep sleep before midnight, supposed
             to be health-giving.  beauty spot 1 a place known for its
             beauty.  2 a small natural or artificial mark such as a mole on
             the face, considered to enhance another feature.  beauty
             treatment cosmetic treatment received in a beauty parlour.  [ME
             f. AF beut‚, OF bealt‚, beaut‚, ult. f. L (as BEAU)]

   beaux     pl. of BEAU.

   beaux arts
             n.pl.  1 fine arts.  2 (attrib.) relating to the rules and
             conventions of the ђcole des Beaux-Arts in Paris (later called
             Acad‚mie des Beaux Arts).  [F beaux-arts]

   beaver(1) n. & v.  --n.  (pl. same or beavers) 1 a any large amphibious
             broad-tailed rodent of the genus Castor, native to N. America,
             Europe, and Asia, and able to cut down trees and build dams.  b
             its soft light-brown fur.  c a hat of this.  2 (in full beaver
             cloth) a heavy woollen cloth like beaver fur.  3 (Beaver) a boy
             aged six or seven who is an affiliate member of the Scout
             Association.  --v.intr.  colloq. (usu. foll. by away) work hard.
             Ьbeaver lamb lamb's wool made to look like beaver fur.  eager
             beaver colloq.  an over-zealous person.  [OE be(o)for f. Gmc]

   beaver(2) n.  hist.  the lower face-guard of a helmet.  [OF baviere bib f.
             baver slaver f.  beve saliva f. Rmc]

   beaver(3) n.  sl.  a bearded man.  [20th c.: orig. uncert.]

             n.  propr.  a kind of fibreboard.  [BEAVER(1) + BOARD]

   bebop     n.  a type of jazz originating in the 1940s and characterized by
             complex harmony and rhythms.  ЬЬbebopper n.  [imit. of the
             typical rhythm]

   becalm    v.tr.  (usu. in passive) deprive (a ship) of wind.

   became    past of BECOME.

   because   conj.  for the reason that; since.  Ьbecause of on account of;
             by reason of.  [ME f.  BY prep. + CAUSE, after OF par cause de
             by reason of]

   b‚chamel  n.  a kind of thick white sauce.  [invented by the Marquis de
             B‚chamel, Fr. courtier d. 1703]

             n.  (pl. same or b€ches-de-mer pronunc. same) 1 a kind of sea
             cucumber eaten in China usu. in long dried strips.  2 =
             BEACH-LA-MAR.  [F, alt. of biche de mer f. Port.  bicho do mar

   beck(1)   n.  N.Engl.  a brook; a mountain stream.  [ME f. ON bekkr f.

   beck(2)   n.  poet.  a gesture requesting attention, e.g. a nod, wave,
             etc.  Ьat a person's beck and call having constantly to obey a
             person's orders.  [beck (v.) f.  BECKON]

   becket    n.  Naut.  a contrivance such as a hook, bracket, or rope-loop,
             for securing loose ropes, tackle, or spars.  [18th c.: orig.

   beckon    v.  1 tr. attract the attention of; summon by gesture.  2 intr.
             (usu. foll. by to) make a signal to attract a person's
             attention; summon a person by doing this.  [OE biecnan, becnan
             ult. f. WG baukna BEACON]

   becloud   v.tr.  1 obscure (becloud the argument).  2 cover with clouds.

   become    v.  (past became; past part.  become) 1 intr. (foll. by compl.)
             begin to be (became president; will become famous).  2 tr.  a
             look well on; suit (blue becomes him).  b befit (it ill becomes
             you to complain).  3 intr. (as becoming adj.) a flattering the
             appearance.  b suitable; decorous.  Ьbecome of happen to (what
             will become of me?).  ЬЬbecomingly adj.  becomingness n.  [OE
             becuman f. Gmc: cf.  BE-, COME]

   becquerel n.  Physics the SI unit of radioactivity, corresponding to one
             disintegration per second.  [A. H.  Becquerel, Fr. physicist d.

   bed       n. & v.  --n.  1 a a piece of furniture used for sleeping on,
             usu. a framework with a mattress and coverings.  b such a
             mattress, with or without coverings.  2 any place used by a
             person or animal for sleep or rest; a litter.  3 a a garden
             plot, esp. one used for planting flowers.  b a place where other
             things may be grown (osier bed).  4 the use of a bed: a colloq.
             for sexual intercourse (only thinks of bed).  b for rest (needs
             his bed).  5 something flat, forming a support or base as in: a
             the bottom of the sea or a river.  b the foundations of a road
             or railway.  c the slates etc. on a billiard-table.  6 a
             stratum, such as a layer of oysters etc.  --v.  (bedded,
             bedding) 1 tr. & intr. (usu. foll. by down) put or go to bed.  2
             tr.  colloq. have sexual intercourse with.  3 tr. (usu. foll. by
             out) plant in a garden bed.  4 tr. cover up or fix firmly in
             something.  5 a tr. arrange as a layer.  b intr. be or form a
             layer.  Ьbed and board 1 lodging and food.  2 marital relations.
             bed and breakfast 1 one night's lodging and breakfast in a hotel
             etc.  2 an establishment that provides this.  bed of roses a
             life of ease.  brought to bed (often foll. by of) delivered of a
             child.  get out of bed on the wrong side be bad-tempered all day
             long.  go to bed 1 retire for the night.  2 have sexual
             intercourse.  3 (of a newspaper) go to press.  keep one's bed
             stay in bed because of illness.  make the bed tidy and arrange
             the bed for use.  make one's bed and lie in it accept the
             consequences of one's acts.  put to bed 1 cause to go to bed.  2
             make (a newspaper) ready for press.  take to one's bed stay in
             bed because of illness.  [OE bed(d), beddian f. Gmc]

   B.Ed.     abbr.  Bachelor of Education.

   bedabble  v.tr.  stain or splash with dirty liquid, blood, etc.

   bedad     int.  Ir.  by God!  [corrupt.: cf.  GAD(2)]

   bedaub    v.tr.  smear or daub with paint etc.; decorate gaudily.

   bedazzle  v.tr.  1 dazzle.  2 confuse (a person).  ЬЬbedazzlement n.

   bedbug    n.  either of two flat, wingless, evil-smelling insects of the
             genus Cimex infesting beds and unclean houses and sucking blood

             n.  1 archaic a bedroom.  2 (Bedchamber) part of the title of
             some of the sovereign's attendants (Lady of the Bedchamber).

             n.pl.  coverings for a bed, such as sheets, blankets, etc.

   beddable  adj.  colloq.  sexually attractive.  [BED + -ABLE]

   bedder    n.  1 a plant suitable for a garden bed.  2 Brit.  colloq. a
             college bedmaker.

   bedding   n.  1 a mattress and bedclothes.  2 a litter for cattle, horses,
             etc.  3 a bottom layer.  4 Geol. the stratification of rocks,
             esp. when clearly visible.  Ьbedding plant a plant suitable for
             a garden bed.

   bedeck    v.tr.  adorn.

   bedeguar  n.  a mosslike growth on rose-bushes produced by a gall wasp.
             [F b‚degar f. Pers.  bad-awar wind-brought]

   bedel     n.  (also bedell) Brit.  a university official with chiefly
             processional duties.  [= BEADLE]

   bedevil   v.tr.  (bedevilled, bedevilling; US bedeviled, bedeviling) 1
             plague; afflict.  2 confound; confuse.  3 possess as if with a
             devil; bewitch.  4 treat with diabolical violence or abuse.
             ЬЬbedevilment n.

   bedew     v.tr.  1 cover or sprinkle with dew or drops of water.  2 poet.
             sprinkle with tears.

   bedfellow n.  1 a person who shares a bed.  2 an associate.

   Bedford cord
             n.  a tough woven fabric having prominent ridges, similar to
             corduroy.  [Bedford in S. England]

   bedight   adj.  archaic arrayed; adorned.  [ME past part. of bedight (v.)
             (as BE-, DIGHT)]

   bedim     v.tr.  (bedimmed, bedimming) poet.  make (the eyes, mind, etc.)

   bedizen   v.tr.  poet.  deck out gaudily.  [BE- + obs.  dizen deck out]

   bedjacket n.  a jacket worn when sitting up in bed.

   bedlam    n.  1 a scene of uproar and confusion (the traffic was bedlam).
             2 archaic a madhouse; an asylum.  [hospital of St Mary of
             Bethlehem in London]

   bedlinen  n.  sheets and pillowcases.

   Bedlington terrier
             n.  1 a terrier of a breed with narrow head, long legs, and
             curly grey hair.  2 this breed.  [Bedlington in Northumberland]

   bedmaker  n.  Brit.  a person employed to clean and tidy students' rooms
             in a college.

   Bedouin   n. & adj.  (also Beduin) (pl. same) --n.  1 a nomadic Arab of
             the desert.  2 a wanderer; a nomad.  --adj.  1 of or relating to
             the Bedouin.  2 wandering; nomadic.  [ME f. OF beduin ult. f.
             Arab.  badwiyyin (oblique case) dwellers in the desert f.  badw

   bedpan    n.  a receptacle used by a bedridden patient for urine and

   bedplate  n.  a metal plate forming the base of a machine.

   bedpost   n.  any of the four upright supports of a bedstead.  Ьbetween
             you and me and the bedpost colloq.  in strict confidence.

   bedraggle v.tr.  1 wet (a dress etc.) by trailing it, or so that it hangs
             limp.  2 (as bedraggled adj.) untidy; dishevelled.  [BE- +

   bedrest   n.  confinement of an invalid to bed.

   bedridden adj.  1 confined to bed by infirmity.  2 decrepit.  [OE bedreda
             f.  ridan ride]

   bedrock   n.  1 solid rock underlying alluvial deposits etc.  2 the
             underlying principles or facts of a theory, character, etc.

   bedroll   n.  esp.  US portable bedding rolled into a bundle, esp. a

   bedroom   n.  1 a room for sleeping in.  2 (attrib.) of or referring to
             sexual relations (bedroom comedy).

   Beds.     abbr.  Bedfordshire.

   bedside   n.  1 the space beside esp. a patient's bed.  2 (attrib.) of or
             relating to the side of a bed (bedside lamp).  Ьbedside manner
             (of a doctor) an approach or attitude to a patient.

   bedsitter n.  (also bedsit) colloq.  = BEDSITTING ROOM.  [contr.]

   bedsitting room
             n.  Brit.  a one-roomed unit of accommodation usu. consisting of
             combined bedroom and sitting-room with cooking facilities.

   bedsock   n.  each of a pair of thick socks worn in bed.

   bedsore   n.  a sore developed by an invalid because of pressure caused by
             lying in bed.

   bedspread n.  an often decorative cloth used to cover a bed when not in

   bedstead  n.  the framework of a bed.

   bedstraw  n.  1 any herbaceous plant of the genus Galium, once used as
             straw for bedding.  2 (in full Our Lady's bedstraw) a bedstraw,
             G. verum, with yellow flowers.

   bedtable  n.  a portable table or tray with legs used by a person sitting
             up in bed.

   bedtime   n.  1 the usual time for going to bed.  2 (attrib.) of or
             relating to bedtime (bedtime drink).

   Beduin    var. of BEDOUIN.

             n.  involuntary urination during the night.

   bee       n.  1 any four-winged insect of the superfamily Apoidea which
             collects nectar and pollen, produces wax and honey, and lives in
             large communities.  2 any insect of a similar type.  3 (usu.
             busy bee) a busy person.  4 esp.  US a meeting for communal work
             or amusement.  Ьbee-bread honey or pollen used as food by bees.
             bee dance a dance performed by worker bees to inform the colony
             of the location of food.  bee-eater any bright-plumaged
             insect-eating bird of the family Meropidae with a long slender
             curved bill.  a bee in one's bonnet an obsession.  bee-keeper a
             keeper of bees.  bee-keeping the occupation of keeping bees.
             bee-master a bee-keeper.  bee orchid a kind of European orchid,
             Ophrys apifera, with bee-shaped flowers.  the bee's knees sl.
             something outstandingly good (thinks he's the bee's knees).  [OE
             beo f. Gmc]

   Beeb      n.  (prec. by the) Brit.  colloq.  the BBC.  [abbr.]

   beech     n.  1 any large forest tree of the genus Fagus, having smooth
             grey bark and glossy leaves.  2 (also beechwood) its wood.  3
             Austral. any of various similar trees in Australia.  Ьbeech-fern
             a fern, Thelypteris phagopteris, found in damp woods.
             beech-marten a white-breasted marten, Martes foina, of S. Europe
             and Asia.  ЬЬbeechy adj.  [OE bece f. Gmc]

   beechmast n.  (pl. same) the small rough-skinned fruit of the beech tree.
             [BEECH + MAST(2)]

   beef      n. & v.  --n.  1 the flesh of the ox, bull, or esp. the cow, for
             eating.  2 colloq. well-developed male muscle.  3 (pl.  beeves
             or US beefs) a cow, bull, or ox fattened for beef; its carcass.
             4 (pl.  beefs) sl. a complaint; a protest.  --v.intr.  sl.
             complain.  Ьbeef tea stewed extract of beef, given to invalids.
             beef up sl.  strengthen, reinforce, augment.  beef-wood 1 any of
             various Australian and W. Indian hardwood trees.  2 the
             close-grained red timber of these.  [ME f. AF, OF boef f. L bos
             bovis ox]

             n.  = HAMBURGER.

   beefcake  n.  esp.  US sl.  well-developed male muscles, esp. when
             displayed for admiration.

   beefeater n.  a warder in the Tower of London; a Yeoman of the Guard.  [f.
             obs. sense 'well-fed menial']

   beefsteak n.  a thick slice of lean beef, esp. from the rump, usu. for
             grilling or frying.  Ьbeefsteak fungus a red edible fungus,
             Fistulina hepatica, resembling beef.

   beefy     adj.  (beefier, beefiest) 1 like beef.  2 solid; muscular.
             ЬЬbeefily adv.  beefiness n.

   beehive   n.  1 an artificial habitation for bees.  2 a busy place.  3
             anything resembling a wicker beehive in being domed.

   beeline   n.  a straight line between two places.  Ьmake a beeline for
             hurry directly to.

   Beelzebub n.  the Devil.  [OE f. L f. Gk beelzeboub & Heb.  ba'al zeb–b
             lord of the flies, name of a Philistine god]

   been      past part. of BE.

   beep      n. & v.  --n.  1 the sound of a motor-car horn.  2 any similar
             high-pitched noise.  --v.intr. emit a beep.  ЬЬbeeper n.

   beer      n.  1 a an alcoholic drink made from yeast-fermented malt etc.,
             flavoured with hops.  b a glass of this, esp. a pint or
             half-pint.  2 any of several other fermented drinks, e.g. ginger
             beer.  Ьbeer and skittles amusement (life is not all beer and
             skittles).  beer-cellar 1 an underground room for storing beer.
             2 a basement or cellar for selling or drinking beer.
             beer-engine Brit.  a machine that draws up beer from a barrel in
             a cellar.  beer garden a garden where beer is sold and drunk.
             beer hall a large room where beer is sold and drunk.  beer-mat a
             small table-mat for a beer-glass.  beer pump US = beer-engine.
             [OE beor f. LL biber drink f. L bibere]

   beerhouse n.  Brit.  a public house licensed to sell beer but not spirits.

   beery     adj.  (beerier, beeriest) 1 showing the influence of drink in
             one's appearance or behaviour.  2 smelling or tasting of beer.
             ЬЬbeerily adv.  beeriness n.

   beestings n.pl.  (also treated as sing.) the first milk (esp. of a cow)
             after giving birth.  [OE besting (implied by beost), of unkn.

   beeswax   n. & v.  --n.  1 the wax secreted by bees to make honeycombs.  2
             this wax refined and used to polish wood.  --v.tr. polish
             (furniture etc.) with beeswax.

   beeswing  n.  a filmy second crust on old port.

   beet      n.  any plant of the genus Beta with an edible root (see
             BEETROOT, sugar beet).  [OE bete f. L beta, perh. of Celt.

   beetle(1) n. & v.  --n.  1 any insect of the order Coleoptera, with
             modified front wings forming hard protective cases closing over
             the back wings.  2 colloq. any similar, usu. black, insect.  3
             sl. a type of compact rounded Volkswagen saloon car.  4 a dice
             game in which a beetle is drawn or assembled.  --v.intr.
             colloq. (foll. by about, away, etc.) Brit. hurry, scurry.
             Ьbeetle-crusher Brit.  colloq.  a large boot or foot.  [OE
             bitula biter f.  bitan BITE]

   beetle(2) n. & v.  --n.  1 a tool with a heavy head and a handle, used for
             ramming, crushing, driving wedges, etc.  2 a machine used for
             heightening the lustre of cloth by pressure from rollers.
             --v.tr.  1 ram, crush, drive, etc., with a beetle.  2 finish
             (cloth) with a beetle.  [OE betel f. Gmc]

   beetle(3) adj. & v.  --adj. (esp. of the eyebrows) projecting, shaggy,
             scowling.  --v.intr. (usu. as beetling adj.) (of brows, cliffs,
             etc.) projecting; overhanging threateningly.  Ьbeetle-browed
             with shaggy, projecting, or scowling eyebrows.  [ME: orig.

   beetroot  n.  esp.  Brit.  1 a beet, Beta vulgaris, with an edible
             spherical dark red root.  2 this root used as a vegetable.

   beeves    pl. of BEEF.

   BEF       abbr.  hist.  British Expeditionary Force.

   befall    v.  (past befell; past part.  befallen) poet.  1 intr. happen
             (so it befell).  2 tr. happen to (a person etc.) (what has
             befallen her?).  [OE befeallan (as BE-, feallan FALL)]

   befit     v.tr.  (befitted, befitting) 1 be fitted or appropriate for;
             suit.  2 be incumbent on.  ЬЬbefitting adj.  befittingly adv.

   befog     v.tr.  (befogged, befogging) 1 confuse; obscure.  2 envelop in

   befool    v.tr.  make a fool of; delude.

   before    conj., prep., & adv.  --conj.  1 earlier than the time when
             (crawled before he walked).  2 rather than that (would starve
             before he stole).  --prep.  1 a in front of (before her in the
             queue).  b ahead of (crossed the line before him).  c under the
             impulse of (recoil before the attack).  d awaiting (the future
             before them).  2 earlier than; preceding (Lent comes before
             Easter).  3 rather than (death before dishonour).  4 a in the
             presence of (appear before the judge).  b for the attention of
             (a plan put before the committee).  --adv.  1 a earlier than the
             time in question; already (heard it before).  b in the past
             (happened long before).  2 ahead (go before).  3 on the front
             (hit before and behind).  ЬBefore Christ (of a date) reckoned
             backwards from the birth of Christ.  before God a solemn oath
             meaning 'as God sees me'.  before time see TIME.  [OE beforan f.

             adv.  in anticipation; in advance; in readiness (had prepared
             the meal beforehand).  Ьbe beforehand with anticipate;
             forestall.  [ME f.  BEFORE + HAND: cf. AF avant main]

   befoul    v.tr.  poet.  1 make foul or dirty.  2 degrade; defile (befouled
             her name).

   befriend  v.tr.  act as a friend to; help.

   befuddle  v.tr.  1 make drunk.  2 confuse.  ЬЬbefuddlement n.

   beg       v.  (begged, begging) 1 a intr. (usu. foll. by for) ask for
             (esp. food, money, etc.) (begged for alms).  b tr. ask for
             (food, money, etc.) as a gift.  c intr. live by begging.  2 tr.
             & intr. (usu. foll. by for, or to + infin.) ask earnestly or
             humbly (begged for forgiveness; begged to be allowed out;
             please, I beg of you; beg your indulgence for a time).  3 tr.
             ask formally for (beg leave).  4 intr. (of a dog etc.) sit up
             with the front paws raised expectantly.  5 tr. take or ask leave
             (to do something) (I beg to differ; beg to enclose).  Ьbeg one's
             bread live by begging.  begging bowl 1 a bowl etc. held out for
             food or alms.  2 an earnest appeal for help.  beg off 1 decline
             to take part in or attend.  2 get (a person) excused a penalty
             etc.  beg pardon see PARDON.  beg the question 1 assume the
             truth of an argument or proposition to be proved, without
             arguing it.  2 disp. pose the question.  3 colloq. evade a
             difficulty.  go begging (or a-begging) (of a chance or a thing)
             not be taken; be unwanted.  [ME prob. f. OE bedecian f. Gmc:
             rel. to BID]

   begad     int.  archaic colloq.  by God!  [corrupt.: cf.  GAD(2)]

   began     past of BEGIN.

   begat     archaic past of BEGET.

   beget     v.tr.  (begetting; past begot; archaic begat; past part.
             begotten) literary 1 (usu. of a father, sometimes of a father
             and mother) procreate.  2 give rise to; cause (beget strife).
             ЬЬbegetter n.  [OE begietan, formed as BE- + GET = procreate]

   beggar    n. & v.  --n.  1 a person who begs, esp. one who lives by
             begging.  2 a poor person.  3 colloq. a person; a fellow (poor
             beggar).  --v.tr.  1 reduce to poverty.  2 outshine.  3 exhaust
             the resources of (beggar description).  Ьbeggar-my-neighbour 1 a
             card-game in which a player seeks to capture an opponent's
             cards.  2 (attrib.) (esp. of national policy) self-aggrandizing
             at the expense of competitors.  beggars cannot (or must not) be
             choosers those without other resources must take what is
             offered.  [ME f.  BEG + -AR(3)]

   beggarly  adj.  1 poverty-stricken; needy.  2 intellectually poor.  3
             mean; sordid.  4 ungenerous.  ЬЬbeggarliness n.

   beggary   n.  extreme poverty.

   begin     v.  (beginning; past began; past part.  begun) 1 tr. perform the
             first part of; start (begin work; begin crying; begin to
             understand).  2 intr. come into being; arise: a in time (war
             began in 1939).  b in space (Wales begins beyond the river).  3
             tr. (usu. foll. by to + infin.) start at a certain time (then
             began to feel ill).  4 intr. be begun (the meeting will begin at
             7).  5 intr.  a start speaking ('No,' he began).  b take the
             first step; be the first to do something (who wants to begin?).
             6 intr.  colloq. (usu. with neg.) show any attempt or likelihood
             (can't begin to compete).  Ьbegin at start from.  begin on (or
             upon) set to work at.  begin school attend school for the first
             time.  begin with take (a subject, task, etc.) first or as a
             starting-point.  to begin with in the first place; as the first
             thing.  [OE beginnan f. Gmc]

   beginner  n.  a person just beginning to learn a skill etc.  Ьbeginner's
             luck good luck supposed to attend a beginner at games etc.

   beginning n.  1 the time or place at which anything begins.  2 a source or
             origin.  3 the first part.  Ьthe beginning of the end the first
             clear sign of a final result.

   begone    int.  poet.  go away at once!

   begonia   n.  any plant of the genus Begonia with brightly coloured sepals
             and no petals, and often having brilliant glossy foliage.  [M.
             B‚gon, Fr. patron of science d. 1710]

   begorra   int.  Ir.  by God!  [corrupt.]

   begot     past of BEGET.

   begotten  past part. of BEGET.

   begrime   v.tr.  make grimy.

   begrudge  v.tr.  1 resent; be dissatisfied at.  2 envy (a person) the
             possession of.  ЬЬbegrudgingly adv.

   beguile   v.tr.  1 charm; amuse.  2 divert attention pleasantly from (toil
             etc.).  3 (usu. foll. by of, out of, or into + verbal noun)
             delude; cheat (beguiled him into paying).  ЬЬbeguilement n.
             beguiler n.  beguiling adj.  beguilingly adv.  [BE- + obs.
             guile to deceive]

   beguine   n.  1 a popular dance of W. Indian origin.  2 its rhythm.
             [Amer. F f. F b‚guin infatuation]

   begum     n.  in the Indian subcontinent: 1 a Muslim lady of high rank.  2
             (Begum) the title of a married Muslim woman, equivalent to Mrs.
             [Urdu begam f. E.Turk.  bigam princess, fem. of big prince: cf.

   begun     past part. of BEGIN.

   behalf    n.  Ьon (US in) behalf of (or on a person's behalf) 1 in the
             interests of (a person, principle, etc.).  2 as representative
             of (acting on behalf of my client).  [mixture of earlier phrases
             on his halve and bihalve him, both = on his side: see BY, HALF]

   behave    v.  1 intr.  a act or react (in a specified way) (behaved well).
             b (esp. to or of a child) conduct oneself properly.  c (of a
             machine etc.) work well (or in a specified way) (the computer is
             not behaving today).  2 refl. (esp. of or to a child) show good
             manners (behaved herself).  Ьbehave towards treat (in a
             specified way).  ill-behaved having bad manners or conduct.
             well-behaved having good manners or conduct.  [BE- + HAVE]

   behaviour n.  (US behavior) 1 a the way one conducts oneself; manners.  b
             the treatment of others; moral conduct.  2 the way in which a
             ship, machine, chemical substance, etc., acts or works.  3
             Psychol. the response (of a person, animal, etc.) to a stimulus.
             Ьbehaviour therapy the treatment of neurotic symptoms by
             training the patient's reactions (see BEHAVIOURISM).  be on
             one's good (or best) behaviour behave well when being observed.
             [BEHAVE after demeanour and obs.  haviour f.  have]

             adj.  (US behavioral) of or relating to behaviour.  Ьbehavioural
             science the scientific study of human behaviour (see
             BEHAVIOURISM).  ЬЬbehaviouralist n.

             n.  (US behaviorism) Psychol.  1 the theory that human behaviour
             is determined by conditioning rather than by thoughts or
             feelings, and that psychological disorders are best treated by
             altering behaviour patterns.  2 such study and treatment in
             practice.  ЬЬbehaviourist n.  behaviouristic adj.

   behead    v.tr.  1 cut off the head of (a person), esp. as a form of
             execution.  2 kill by beheading.  [OE beheafdian (as BE-, heafod

   beheld    past and past part. of BEHOLD.

   behemoth  n.  an enormous creature or thing.  [ME f. Heb.  behem“t
             intensive pl. of behemah beast, perh. f. Egyptian p-ehe-mau

   behest    n.  literary a command; an entreaty (went at his behest).  [OE
             beh‘s f. Gmc]

   behind    prep., adv., & n.  --prep.  1 a in, towards, or to the rear of.
             b on the further side of (behind the bush).  c hidden by
             (something behind that remark).  2 a in the past in relation to
             (trouble is behind me now).  b late in relation to (behind
             schedule).  3 inferior to; weaker than (rather behind the others
             in his maths).  4 a in support of (she's right behind us).  b
             responsible for; giving rise to (the man behind the project; the
             reasons behind his resignation).  5 in the tracks of; following.
             --adv.  1 a in or to or towards the rear; further back (the
             street behind; glance behind).  b on the further side (a high
             wall with a field behind).  2 remaining after departure (leave
             behind; stay behind).  3 (usu. foll. by with) a in arrears
             (behind with the rent).  b late in accomplishing a task etc.
             (working too slowly and getting behind).  4 in a weak position;
             backward (behind in Latin).  5 following (his dog running
             behind).  --n.  1 colloq. the buttocks.  2 (in Australian Rules)
             a kick etc. scoring one point.  Ьbehind a person's back without
             a person's knowledge.  behind the scenes see SCENE.  behind time
             late.  behind the times antiquated.  come from behind win after
             lagging.  fall (or lag) behind not keep up.  put behind one 1
             refuse to consider.  2 get over (an unhappy experience etc.).
             [OE behindan, bihindan f.  bi BY + hindan from behind, hinder

             adv. & predic.adj.  1 (usu. foll. by with, in) late (in
             discharging a duty, paying a debt, etc.).  2 out of date; behind
             time.  [BEHIND + HAND: cf.  BEFOREHAND]

   behold    v.tr.  (past & past part.  beheld) literary (esp. in imper.)
             see, observe.  ЬЬbeholder n.  [OE bihaldan (as BE-, haldan

   beholden  predic.adj.  (usu. foll. by to) under obligation.  [past part.
             (obs. except in this use) of BEHOLD, = bound]

   behoof    n.  archaic (prec. by to, for, on; foll. by of) benefit;
             advantage.  [OE behof]

   behove    v.tr.  (US behoove) formal (prec. by it as subject; foll. by to
             + infin.)  1 be incumbent on.  2 (usu. with neg.) befit (ill
             behoves him to protest).  [OE behofian f.  behof: see BEHOOF]

   beige     n. & adj.  --n. a pale sandy fawn colour.  --adj. of this
             colour.  [F: orig. unkn.]

   beigel    var. of BAGEL.

   being     n.  1 existence.  2 the nature or essence (of a person etc.)
             (his whole being revolted).  3 a human being.  4 anything that
             exists or is imagined.  Ьin being existing.

   bejabers  int.  (also bejabbers) Ir.  by Jesus!  [corrupt.]

             adj.  (US bejeweled) adorned with jewels.

   bel       n.  a unit used in the comparison of power levels in electrical
             communication or intensities of sound, corresponding to an
             intensity ratio of 10 to 1 (cf.  DECIBEL).  [A. G.  Bell, Amer.
             inventor of telephone d. 1922]

   belabour  v.tr.  (US belabor) 1 a thrash; beat.  b attack verbally.  2
             argue or elaborate (a subject) in excessive detail.  [BE- +
             LABOUR = exert one's strength]

   belated   adj.  1 coming late or too late.  2 overtaken by darkness.
             ЬЬbelatedly adv.  belatedness n.  [past part. of obs.  belate
             delay (as BE-, LATE)]

   belay     v. & n.  --v.  1 tr. fix (a running rope) round a cleat, pin,
             rock, etc., to secure it.  2 tr. & intr. (usu. in imper.) Naut.
             sl. stop; enough! (esp. belay there!).  --n.  1 an act of
             belaying.  2 a spike of rock etc. used for belaying.
             Ьbelaying-pin a fixed wooden or iron pin used for fastening a
             rope round.  [Du.  beleggen]

   bel canto n.  1 a lyrical style of operatic singing using a full rich
             broad tone and smooth phrasing.  2 (attrib.) (of a type of aria
             or voice) characterized by this type of singing.  [It., = fine

   belch     v. & n.  --v.  1 intr. emit wind noisily from the stomach
             through the mouth.  2 tr.  a (of a chimney, volcano, gun, etc.)
             send (smoke etc.) out or up.  b utter forcibly.  --n. an act of
             belching.  [OE belcettan]

   beldam    n.  (also beldame) archaic 1 an old woman; a hag.  2 a virago.
             [ME & OF bel beautiful + DAM(2), DAME]

   beleaguer v.tr.  1 besiege.  2 vex; harass.  [Du.  belegeren camp round
             (as BE-, leger a camp)]

   belemnite n.  any extinct cephalopod of the order Belemnoidea, having a
             bullet-shaped internal shell often found in fossilized form.
             [mod.L belemnites f. Gk belemnon dart + -ITE(1)]

   bel esprit
             n.  (pl.  beaux esprits) a witty person.  [F, lit. fine mind]

   belfry    n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 a bell tower or steeple housing bells, esp.
             forming part of a church.  2 a space for hanging bells in a
             church tower.  Ьbats in the belfry see BAT(2).  [ME f. OF
             berfrei f. Frank.: altered by assoc. with bell]

   Belgian   n. & adj.  --n.  1 a native or national of Belgium in W. Europe.
             2 a person of Belgian descent.  --adj. of or relating to
             Belgium.  ЬBelgian hare a dark-red long-eared breed of domestic

   Belgic    adj.  1 of the ancient Belgae of N. Gaul.  2 of the Low
             Countries.  [L Belgicus f.  Belgae]

   Belial    n.  the Devil.  [Heb.  beliyya'al worthless]

   belie     v.tr.  (belying) 1 give a false notion of; fail to corroborate
             (its appearance belies its age).  2 a fail to fulfil (a promise
             etc.).  b fail to justify (a hope etc.).  [OE beleogan (as BE-,
             leogan LIE(2))]

   belief    n.  1 a a person's religion; religious conviction (has no
             belief).  b a firm opinion (my belief is that he did it).  c an
             acceptance (of a thing, fact, statement, etc.) (belief in the
             afterlife).  2 (usu. foll. by in) trust or confidence.  Ьbeyond
             belief incredible.  to the best of my belief in my genuine
             opinion.  [ME f. OE geleafa (as BELIEVE)]

   believe   v.  1 tr. accept as true or as conveying the truth (I believe
             it; don't believe him; believes what he is told).  2 tr. think,
             suppose (I believe it's raining; Mr Smith, I believe?).  3 intr.
             (foll. by in) a have faith in the existence of (believes in
             God).  b have confidence in (a remedy, a person, etc.) (believes
             in alternative medicine).  c have trust in the advisability of
             (believes in telling the truth).  4 intr. have (esp. religious)
             faith.  Ьbelieve one's ears (or eyes) accept that what one
             apparently hears or sees etc. is true.  believe it or not
             colloq.  it is true though surprising.  make believe (often
             foll. by that + clause, or to + infin.)  pretend (let's make
             believe that we're young again).  would you believe it?  colloq.
             = believe it or not.  ЬЬbelievable adj.  believability n.  [OE
             belyfan, belefan, with change of prefix f.  gelefan f. Gmc: rel.
             to LIEF]

   believer  n.  1 an adherent of a specified religion.  2 a person who
             believes, esp. in the efficacy of something (a great believer in

   Belisha beacon
             n.  Brit.  a flashing orange ball surmounted on a striped post,
             marking some pedestrian crossings.  [L. Hore- Belisha d. 1957,
             Minister of Transport 1934]

   belittle  v.tr.  1 depreciate.  2 make small; dwarf.  ЬЬbelittlement n.
             belittler n.  belittlingly adv.

   bell(1)   n. & v.  --n.  1 a hollow usu. metal object in the shape of a
             deep upturned cup usu. widening at the lip, made to sound a
             clear musical note when struck (either externally or by means of
             a clapper inside).  2 a a sound or stroke of a bell, esp. as a
             signal.  b (prec. by a numeral) Naut. the time as indicated
             every half-hour of a watch by the striking of the ship's bell
             one to eight times.  3 anything that sounds like or functions as
             a bell, esp. an electronic device that rings etc. as a signal.
             4 a any bell-shaped object or part, e.g. of a musical
             instrument.  b the corolla of a flower when bell-shaped.  5 (in
             pl.) Mus. a set of cylindrical metal tubes of different lengths,
             suspended in a frame and played by being struck with a hammer.
             --v.tr.  1 provide with a bell or bells; attach a bell to.  2
             (foll. by out) form into the shape of the lip of a bell.
             Ьbell-bottom 1 a marked flare below the knee (of a trouser-leg).
             2 (in pl.) trousers with bell-bottoms.  bell-bottomed having
             bell-bottoms.  bell-buoy a buoy equipped with a warning bell
             rung by the motion of the sea.  bell-founder a person who casts
             large bells in a foundry.  bell-glass a bell-shaped glass cover
             for plants.  bell-jar a bell-shaped glass cover or container for
             use in a laboratory.  bell-metal an alloy of copper and tin for
             making bells (the tin content being greater than in bronze).
             bell-pull a cord or handle which rings a bell when pulled.
             bell-push a button that operates an electric bell when pushed.
             bell-ringer a person who rings church bells or handbells.
             bell-ringing this as an activity.  bell-tent a cone-shaped tent
             supported by a central pole.  bell-wether 1 the leading sheep of
             a flock, with a bell on its neck.  2 a ringleader.  clear (or
             sound) as a bell perfectly clear or sound.  ring a bell colloq.
             revive a distant recollection; sound familiar.  [OE belle: perh.
             rel. to BELL(2)]

   bell(2)   n. & v.  --n. the cry of a stag or buck at rutting-time.
             --v.intr. make this cry.  [OE bellan bark, bellow]

             n.  1 Bot. a poisonous plant, Atropa belladonna, with purple
             flowers and purple-black berries. Also called deadly nightshade.
             2 Med. a drug prepared from this.  Ьbelladonna lily a S. African
             amaryllis with white or pink flowers, Amaryllis belladonna.
             [mod.L f. It., = fair lady, perh. from its use as a cosmetic]

   bellbird  n.  any of various birds with a bell-like song, esp. any Central
             or S. American bird of the genus Procnias, a New Zealand
             honey-eater, Anthornis melanura, and an Australian bird, Oreoica

   bellboy   n.  esp. US a page in a hotel or club.

   belle     n.  1 a beautiful woman.  2 a woman recognized as the most
             beautiful (the belle of the ball).  [F f. L bella fem. of bellus

   belle ‚poque
             n.  the period of settled and comfortable life preceding the war
             of 1914-18.  [F, = fine period]

   belle laide
             n.  (pl.  belles laides pronunc. same) a fascinatingly ugly
             woman.  [F f.  belle beautiful + laide ugly]

             n.pl.  (also treated as sing.) writings or studies of a literary
             nature, esp. essays and criticisms.  ЬЬbelletrism n.  belletrist
             n.  belletristic adj.  [F, = fine letters]

             n.  = CAMPANULA.

   bellicose adj.  eager to fight; warlike.  ЬЬbellicosity n.  [ME f. L
             bellicosus f.  bellum war]

             n.  (also belligerency) 1 aggressive or warlike behaviour.  2
             the status of a belligerent.

             adj. & n.  --adj.  1 engaged in war or conflict.  2 given to
             constant fighting; pugnacious.  --n. a nation or person engaged
             in war or conflict.  ЬЬbelligerently adv.  [L belligerare wage
             war f.  bellum war + gerere wage]

   bellman   n.  (pl.  -men) hist.  a town crier.

   bellow    v. & n.  --v.  1 intr.  a emit a deep loud roar.  b cry or shout
             with pain.  2 tr. utter loudly and usu. angrily.  --n. a
             bellowing sound.  [ME: perh. rel. to BELL(2)]

   bellows   n.pl.  (also treated as sing.) 1 a device with an air bag that
             emits a stream of air when squeezed, esp.: a (in full pair of
             bellows) a kind with two handles used for blowing air on to a
             fire.  b a kind used in a harmonium or small organ.  2 an
             expandable component, e.g. joining the lens to the body of a
             camera.  [ME prob. f. OE belga pl. of belig belly]

   belly     n. & v.  --n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 the part of the human body below
             the chest, containing the stomach and bowels.  2 the stomach,
             esp. representing the body's need for food.  3 the front of the
             body from the waist to the groin.  4 the underside of a
             four-legged animal.  5 a a cavity or bulging part of anything.
             b the surface of an instrument of the violin family, across
             which the strings are placed.  --v.tr. & intr.  (-ies, -ied)
             (often foll. by out) swell or cause to swell; bulge.  Ьbelly
             button colloq.  the navel.  belly-dance an oriental dance
             performed by a woman, involving voluptuous movements of the
             belly.  belly-dancer a woman who performs belly-dances, esp.
             professionally.  belly-dancing the performance of belly-dances.
             belly-landing a crash-landing of an aircraft on the underside of
             the fuselage, without lowering the undercarriage.  belly-laugh a
             loud unrestrained laugh.  [OE belig (orig. = bag) f. Gmc]

   bellyache n. & v.  --n.  colloq. a stomach pain.  --v.intr.  sl. complain
             noisily or persistently.  ЬЬbellyacher n.

   bellyband n.  a band placed round a horse's belly, holding the shafts of a
             cart etc.

   bellyflop n. & v.  colloq.  --n. a dive into water in which the body lands
             with the belly flat on the water.  --v.intr.  (-flopped,
             -flopping) perform this dive.

   bellyful  n.  (pl.  -fuls) 1 enough to eat.  2 colloq. enough or more than
             enough of anything (esp. unwelcome).

   belong    v.intr.  1 (foll. by to) a be the property of.  b be rightly
             assigned to as a duty, right, part, member, characteristic, etc.
             c be a member of (a club, family, group, etc.).  2 have the
             right personal or social qualities to be a member of a
             particular group (he's nice but just doesn't belong); (foll. by
             in, under).  a be rightly placed or classified.  b fit a
             particular environment.  ЬЬbelongingness n.  [ME f. intensive
             BE- + longen belong f. OE langian (gelang at hand)]

             n.pl.  one's movable possessions or luggage.

             n. & adj.  (also Byelorussian) --n.  1 a native of Belorussia in
             the western USSR.  2 the language of Belorussia.  --adj. of or
             relating to Belorussia or its people or language.  [Russ.
             Belorussiya f.  belyi white + Russiya Russia]

   beloved   predic. also adj. & n.  --adj. much loved.  --n. a much loved
             person.  [obs.  belove (v.)]

   below     prep. & adv.  --prep.  1 lower in position (vertically, down a
             slope or stream, etc.)  than.  2 beneath the surface of; at or
             to a greater depth than (head below water; below 500 feet).  3
             lower or less than in amount or degree (below freezing-point;
             temperature is 20 below).  4 lower in rank, position, or
             importance than.  5 unworthy of.  --adv.  1 at or to a lower
             point or level.  2 a downstairs (lives below).  b downstream.  3
             (of a text reference) further forward on a page or in a book (as
             noted below).  4 on the lower side (looks similar above and
             below).  5 rhet. on earth; in hell.  Ьbelow stairs in the
             basement of a house esp. as the part occupied by servants.  [BE-
             + LOW(1)]

   Bel Paese n.  propr.  a rich white mild creamy cheese of a kind orig. made
             in Italy.  [It., = fair country]

   belt      n. & v.  --n.  1 a strip of leather or other material worn round
             the waist or across the chest, esp. to retain or support clothes
             or to carry weapons or as a safety-belt.  2 a belt worn as a
             sign of rank or achievement.  3 a a circular band of material
             used as a driving medium in machinery.  b a conveyor belt.  c a
             flexible strip carrying machine-gun cartridges.  4 a strip of
             colour or texture etc. differing from that on each side.  5 a
             distinct region or extent (cotton belt; commuter belt; a belt of
             rain).  6 sl. a heavy blow.  --v.  1 tr. put a belt round.  2
             tr. (often foll. by on) fasten with a belt.  3 tr.  a beat with
             a belt.  b sl. hit hard.  4 intr.  sl. rush, hurry (usu. with
             compl.  : belted along; belted home).  Ьbelow the belt unfair or
             unfairly; disregarding the rules.  belt and braces (of a policy
             etc.) of twofold security.  belt out sl.  sing or utter loudly
             and forcibly.  belt up Brit.  1 sl. be quiet.  2 colloq. put on
             a seat belt.  tighten one's belt live more frugally.  under
             one's belt 1 (of food) eaten.  2 securely acquired (has a degree
             under her belt).  ЬЬbelter n. (esp. in sense of belt out).  [OE
             f. Gmc f. L balteus]

   Beltane   n.  an ancient Celtic festival celebrated on May Day.  [Gael.

   beltman   n.  (pl.  -men) Austral.  a member of a life-saving team of

   beluga    n.  1 a a large kind of sturgeon, Huso huso.  b caviare obtained
             from it.  2 a white whale.  [Russ.  beluga f.  belyi white]

   belvedere n.  a summer-house or open-sided gallery usu. at rooftop level.
             [It. f.  bel beautiful + vedere see]

   belying   pres. part. of BELIE.

   BEM       abbr.  British Empire Medal.

   bemire    v.tr.  1 cover or stain with mud.  2 (in passive) be stuck in
             mud.  [BE- + MIRE]

   bemoan    v.tr.  1 express regret or sorrow over; lament.  2 complain
             about.  [BE- + MOAN]

   bemuse    v.tr.  stupefy or bewilder (a person).  ЬЬbemusedly adv.
             bemusement n.  [BE- + MUSE(2)]

   ben(1)    n.  Sc.  a high mountain or mountain peak, esp. in names (Ben
             Nevis).  [Gael.  beann]

   ben(2)    n.  Sc.  an inner room, esp. of a two-roomed cottage.  [ellipt.
             use of ben (adv.), = within (OE binnan)]

   bench     n. & v.  --n.  1 a long seat of wood or stone for seating
             several people.  2 a working-table, e.g. for a carpenter,
             mechanic, or scientist.  3 (prec. by the) a the office of judge
             or magistrate.  b a judge's seat in a lawcourt.  c a lawcourt.
             d judges and magistrates collectively.  4 (often in pl.) Sport
             an area to the side of a pitch, with seating where coaches and
             players not taking part can watch the game.  5 Brit.  Parl. a
             seat appropriated as specified (front bench).  6 a level ledge
             in masonry or an earthwork, on a hill-slope, etc.  --v.tr.  1
             exhibit (a dog) at a show.  2 Sport US withdraw (a player) from
             the pitch to the benches.  Ьbench test esp. Computing n.  a test
             made by benchmarking.  --v.tr. run a series of tests on (a
             computer etc.) before its use.  King's (or Queen's) Bench (in
             the UK) a division of the High Court of Justice.  on the bench
             appointed a judge or magistrate.  [OE benc f. Gmc]

   bencher   n.  Brit.  1 Law a senior member of any of the Inns of Court.  2
             (in comb.) Parl. an occupant of a specified bench (backbencher).

   benchmark n. & v.  --n.  1 a surveyor's mark cut in a wall, pillar,
             building, etc., used as a reference point in measuring
             altitudes.  2 a standard or point of reference.  3 a means of
             testing a computer, usu. by a set of programs run on a series of
             different machines.  --v.tr. evaluate (a computer) by a
             benchmark.  Ьbenchmark test a test using a benchmark.

   bend(1)   v. & n.  --v.  (past bent; past part.  bent exc. in bended knee)
             1 a tr. force or adapt (something straight) into a curve or
             angle.  b intr. (of an object) be altered in this way.  2 intr.
             move or stretch in a curved course (the road bends to the left).
             3 intr. & tr. (often foll. by down, over, etc.) incline or cause
             to incline from the vertical (bent down to pick it up).  4 tr.
             interpret or modify (a rule) to suit oneself.  5 tr. & refl.
             (foll. by to, on) direct or devote (oneself or one's attention,
             energies, etc.).  6 tr. turn (one's steps or eyes) in a new
             direction.  7 tr. (in passive; foll. by on) have firmly decided;
             be determined (was bent on selling; on pleasure bent).  8 a
             intr. stoop or submit (bent before his master).  b tr. force to
             submit.  9 tr.  Naut. attach (a sail or cable) with a knot.
             --n.  1 a curve in a road or other course.  2 a departure from a
             straight course.  3 a bent part of anything.  4 (in pl.; prec.
             by the) colloq. sickness due to too rapid decompression
             underwater.  Ьbend over backwards see BACKWARDS.  round the bend
             colloq.  crazy, insane.  ЬЬbendable adj.  [OE bendan f. Gmc]

   bend(2)   n.  1 Naut. any of various knots for tying ropes (fisherman's
             bend).  2 Heraldry a a diagonal stripe from top right to bottom
             left of a shield.  b (bend sinister) a diagonal stripe from top
             left to bottom right, as a sign of bastardy.  [OE bend band,
             bond f. Gmc]

   bender    n.  sl.  a wild drinking-spree.  [BEND(1) + -ER(1)]

   bendy     adj.  (bendier, bendiest) colloq.  capable of bending; soft and
             flexible.  ЬЬbendiness n.

   beneath   prep. & adv.  --prep.  1 not worthy of; too demeaning for (it
             was beneath him to reply).  2 below, under.  --adv. below,
             under, underneath.  Ьbeneath contempt see CONTEMPT.  [OE
             binithan, bineothan f.  bi BY + nithan etc. below f. Gmc]

             n.  a blessing, esp. a grace said at table in religious
             communities.  [ME f. L, = bless ye: see BENEDICTION]

             in sense 2) n. & adj.  --n.  1 a monk or nun of an order
             following the rule of St Benedict established c.540.  2 propr. a
             liqueur based on brandy, orig. made by Benedictines in France.
             --adj. of St Benedict or his order.  [F b‚n‚dictine or mod.L
             benedictinus f.  Benedictus Benedict]

             n.  1 the utterance of a blessing, esp. at the end of a
             religious service or as a special Roman Catholic service.  2 the
             state of being blessed.  [ME f. OF f. L benedictio -onis f.
             benedicere -dict- bless]

             adj.  of or expressing benediction.  [L benedictorius (as

             n.  1 the section of the Roman Catholic Mass beginning
             Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini (Blessed is he who comes
             in the name of the Lord).  2 a canticle beginning Benedictus
             Dominus Deus (Blessed be the Lord God) from Luke 1:68-79.  [L, =
             blessed: see BENEDICTION]

             n.  1 a donation or gift.  2 an act of giving or doing good.
             [LL benefactio (as BENEFIT)]

             n.  (fem.  benefactress) a person who gives support (esp.
             financial) to a person or cause.  [ME f. LL (as BENEFIT)]

   benefice  n.  1 a living from a church office.  2 the property attached to
             a church office, esp. that bestowed on a rector or vicar.
             ЬЬbeneficed adj.  [ME f. OF f. L beneficium favour f.  bene well
             + facere do]

             adj.  doing good; generous, actively kind.  ЬЬbeneficence n.
             beneficently adv.  [L beneficent- (as BENEFICE)]

             adj.  1 advantageous; having benefits.  2 Law relating to the
             use or benefit of property; having rights to this use or
             benefit.  ЬЬbeneficially adv.  [ME f. F b‚n‚ficial or LL
             beneficialis (as BENEFICE)]

             n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 a person who receives benefits, esp. under a
             person's will.  2 a holder of a church living.  [L beneficiarius
             (as BENEFICE)]

   benefit   n. & v.  --n.  1 a favourable or helpful factor or circumstance;
             advantage, profit.  2 (often in pl.) payment made under
             insurance or social security (sickness benefit).  3 a public
             performance or game of which the proceeds go to a particular
             player or company or charitable cause.  --v.  (benefited,
             benefiting; US benefitted, benefitting) 1 tr. do good to; bring
             advantage to.  2 intr. (often foll. by from, by) receive an
             advantage or gain.  Ьbenefit of clergy 1 hist. exemption of the
             English tonsured clergy and nuns from the jurisdiction of the
             ordinary civil courts.  2 ecclesiastical sanction or approval
             (marriage without benefit of clergy).  the benefit of the doubt
             a concession that a person is innocent, correct, etc., although
             doubt exists.  benefit society a society for mutual insurance
             against illness or the effects of old age.  [ME f. AF benfet, OF
             bienfet, f. L benefactum f.  bene facere do well]

   Benelux   n.  Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxemburg in association as a
             regional economic group.  [Belgium + Netherlands + Luxemburg]

             adj.  1 wishing to do good; actively friendly and helpful.  2
             charitable (benevolent fund; benevolent society).  ЬЬbenevolence
             n.  benevolently adv.  [ME f. OF benivolent f. L bene volens
             -entis well wishing f.  velle wish]

   B.Eng.    abbr.  Bachelor of Engineering.

   Bengali   n. & adj.  --n.  1 a native of Bengal, a former Indian province
             now consisting of Bangladesh and the Indian State of W. Bengal.
             2 the language of this people.  --adj. of or relating to Bengal
             or its people or language.

   Bengal light
             n.  a kind of firework giving off a blue flame, used for

   benighted adj.  1 intellectually or morally ignorant.  2 overtaken by
             darkness.  ЬЬbenightedness n.  [obs.  benight (v.)]

   benign    adj.  1 gentle, mild, kindly.  2 fortunate, salutary.  3 (of the
             climate, soil, etc.) mild, favourable.  4 Med. (of a disease,
             tumour, etc.) not malignant.  ЬЬbenignly adv.  [ME f. OF benigne
             f. L benignus f.  bene well + - genus born]

   benignant adj.  1 kindly, esp. to inferiors.  2 salutary, beneficial.  3
             Med. = BENIGN.  ЬЬbenignancy n.  benignantly adv.  [f.  BENIGN
             or L benignus, after malignant]

   benignity n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 kindliness.  2 an act of kindness.  [ME f. OF
             benignit‚ or L benignitas (as BENIGN)]

   benison   n.  archaic a blessing.  [ME f. OF benei‡un f. L benedictio

   bent(1)   past and past part. of BEND(1) v.  --adj.  1 curved or having an
             angle.  2 sl. dishonest, illicit.  3 sl. sexually deviant.  4
             (foll. by on) determined to do or have.  --n.  1 an inclination
             or bias.  2 (foll. by for) a talent for something specified (a
             bent for mimicry).

   bent(2)   n.  1 a any stiff grass of the genus Agrostis.  b any of various
             grasslike reeds, rushes, or sedges.  2 a stiff stalk of a grass
             usu. with a flexible base.  3 archaic or dial. a heath or
             unenclosed pasture.  [ME repr. OE beonet- (in place-names), f.

             n.  the utilitarian philosophy of Jeremy Bentham, Engl.
             philosopher d. 1832.  ЬЬBenthamite n. & adj.

   benthos   n.  the flora and fauna found at the bottom of a sea or lake.
             ЬЬbenthic adj.  [Gk, = depth of the sea]

   bentonite n.  a kind of absorbent clay used esp. as a filler.  [Fort
             Benton in Montana, US]

   ben trovato
             adj.  1 well invented.  2 characteristic if not true.  [It., =
             well found]

   bentwood  n.  wood that is artificially shaped for use in making

   benumb    v.tr.  1 make numb; deaden.  2 paralyse (the mind or feelings).
             [orig. = deprived, as past part. of ME benimen f. OE beniman (as
             BE-, niman take)]

             n.  propr.  amphetamine.  [BENZOIC + EPHEDRINE]

   benzene   n.  a colourless carcinogenic volatile liquid found in coal tar,
             petroleum, etc., and used as a solvent and in the manufacture of
             plastics etc.  °Chem. formula: C[6]H[6].  Ьbenzene ring the
             hexagonal unsaturated ring of six carbon atoms in the benzene
             molecule.  ЬЬbenzenoid adj.  [BENZOIC + -ENE]

   benzine   n.  (also benzin) a mixture of liquid hydrocarbons obtained from
             petroleum.  [BENZOIN + -INE(4)]

   benzoic   adj.  containing or derived from benzoin or benzoic acid.
             Ьbenzoic acid a white crystalline substance used as a food
             preservative.  °Chem. formula: C[7]H[6]O[2]..  [BENZOIN + -IC]

   benzoin   n.  1 a fragrant gum resin obtained from various E. Asian trees
             of the genus Styrax, and used in the manufacture of perfumes and
             incense.  2 the white crystalline constituent of this. Also
             called gum benjamin.  [earlier benjoin ult. f. Arab.  luban jawi
             incense of Java]

   benzol    n.  (also benzole) benzene, esp. unrefined and used as a fuel.

   benzoyl   n.  (usu.  attrib.) Chem.  the radical C[6]H[5]CO.

   benzyl    n.  (usu.  attrib.) Chem.  the radical C[6]H[5]CH[2]..

   bequeath  v.tr.  1 leave (a personal estate) to a person by a will.  2
             hand down to posterity.  ЬЬbequeathal n.  bequeather n.  [OE
             becwethan (as BE-, cwethan say: cf.  QUOTH)]

   bequest   n.  1 the act or an instance of bequeathing.  2 a thing
             bequeathed.  [ME f.  BE- + obs.  quiste f. OE -cwiss, cwide

   berate    v.tr.  scold, rebuke.  [BE- + RATE(2)]

   Berber    n. & adj.  --n.  1 a member of the indigenous mainly Muslim
             Caucasian peoples of N. Africa.  2 the language of these
             peoples.  --adj. of the Berbers or their language.  [Arab.

   berberis  n.  = BARBERRY.  [med.L & OF, of unkn. orig.]

   berceuse  n.  (pl.  berceuses pronunc. same) 1 a lullaby.  2 an
             instrumental piece in the style of a lullaby.  [F]

   bereave   v.tr. (esp. as bereaved adj.) (foll. by of) deprive of a
             relation, friend, etc., esp. by death.  ЬЬbereavement n.  [OE
             bereafian (as BE-, REAVE)]

   bereft    adj.  (foll. by of) deprived (esp. of a non-material asset)
             (bereft of hope).  [past part. of BEREAVE]

   beret     n.  a round flattish cap of felt or cloth.  [F b‚ret Basque cap
             f. Prov.  berret]

   berg(1)   n.  = ICEBERG.  [abbr.]

   berg(2)   n.  S.Afr.  a mountain or hill.  Ьberg wind a hot dry northerly
             wind blowing from the interior to coastal districts.  [Afrik. f.

             n.  1 an aromatic herb, esp.  Mentha citrata.  2 an oily perfume
             extracted from the rind of the fruit of the citrus tree Citrus
             bergamia, a dwarf variety of the Seville orange tree.  3 the
             tree itself.  [Bergamo in N. Italy]

             n.  a variety of fine pear.  [F bergamotte f. It.  bergamotta f.
             Turk.  begarmudi prince's pear f.  beg prince + armudi pear]

             n.  a crevasse or gap at the head of a glacier or n‚v‚.  [G]

   beriberi  n.  a disease causing inflammation of the nerves due to a
             deficiency of vitamin B[1]..  [Sinh., f.  beri weakness]

   berk      n.  (also burk) Brit.  sl.  a fool; a stupid person.  °Usu. not
             considered offens. despite the etymology.  [abbr. of Berkeley or
             Berkshire Hunt, rhyming sl. for cunt]

   berkelium n.  Chem.  a transuranic radioactive metallic element produced
             by bombardment of americium.  °Symb.: Bk.  [mod.L f.  Berkeley
             in California (where first made) + -IUM]

   Berks.    abbr.  Berkshire.

   Berliner  n.  1 a native or citizen of Berlin in Germany.  2 a lightly
             fried yeast bun with jam filling and vanilla icing.  [G]

   berm      n.  1 a narrow path or grass strip beside a road, canal, etc.  2
             a narrow ledge, esp. in a fortification between a ditch and the
             base of a parapet.  [F berme f. Du.  berm]

   Bermuda shorts
             n.pl.  (also Bermudas) close-fitting shorts reaching the knees.
             [Bermuda in the W. Atlantic]

   Bermuda triangle
             n.  an area of the western Atlantic where ships and aircraft are
             reported to have disappeared without trace.

   berry     n. & v.  --n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 any small roundish juicy fruit
             without a stone.  2 Bot. a fruit with its seeds enclosed in a
             pulp (e.g. a banana, tomato, etc.).  3 any of various kernels or
             seeds (e.g. coffee bean etc.).  4 a fish egg or roe of a lobster
             etc.  --v.intr.  (-ies, -ied) 1 (usu. as berrying n.) go
             gathering berries.  2 form a berry; bear berries.  ЬЬberried
             adj. (also in comb.).  [OE berie f. Gmc]

   berserk   adj. & n.  --adj. (esp. in go berserk) wild, frenzied; in a
             violent rage.  --n.  (also berserker) an ancient Norse warrior
             who fought with a wild frenzy.  [Icel.  berserkr (n.) prob. f.
             bern- BEAR(2) + serkr coat]

   berth     n. & v.  --n.  1 a fixed bunk on a ship, train, etc., for
             sleeping in.  2 a ship's place at a wharf.  3 room for a ship to
             swing at anchor.  4 adequate sea room.  5 colloq. a situation or
             appointment.  6 the proper place for anything.  --v.  1 tr. moor
             (a ship) in its berth.  2 tr. provide a sleeping place for.  3
             intr. (of a ship) come to its mooring-place.  Ьgive a wide berth
             to stay away from.  [prob. f. naut. use of BEAR(1) + -TH(2)]

   bertha    n.  1 a deep falling collar often of lace.  2 a small cape on a
             dress.  [F berthe f.  Berthe Bertha (the name)]

   beryl     n.  1 a kind of transparent precious stone, esp. pale green,
             blue, or yellow, and consisting of beryllium aluminium silicate
             in a hexagonal form.  2 a mineral species which includes this,
             emerald, and aquamarine.  [ME f. OF f. L beryllus f. Gk

   beryllium n.  Chem.  a hard white metallic element used in the manufacture
             of light corrosion-resistant alloys.  °Symb.: Be.  [BERYL +

   beseech   v.tr.  (past and past part.  besought or beseeched) 1 (foll. by
             for, or to + infin.) entreat.  2 ask earnestly for.
             ЬЬbeseeching adj.  [ME f.  BE- + secan SEEK]

   beset     v.tr.  (besetting; past and past part.  beset) 1 attack or
             harass persistently (beset by worries).  2 surround or hem in (a
             person etc.).  3 archaic cover round with (beset with pearls).
             Ьbesetting sin the sin that especially or most frequently tempts
             one.  ЬЬbesetment n.  [OE besettan f. Gmc]

   beside    prep.  1 at the side of; near.  2 compared with.  3 irrelevant
             to (beside the point).  Ьbeside oneself overcome with worry,
             anger, etc.  [OE be sidan (as BY, SIDE)]

   besides   prep. & adv.  --prep. in addition to; apart from.  --adv. also;
             as well; moreover.

   besiege   v.tr.  1 lay siege to.  2 crowd round oppressively.  3 harass
             with requests.  ЬЬbesieger n.  [ME f.  assiege by substitution
             of BE-, f. OF asegier f. Rmc]

   besmear   v.tr.  1 smear with greasy or sticky stuff.  2 sully (a
             reputation etc.).  [OE bismierwan (as BE-, SMEAR)]

   besmirch  v.tr.  1 soil, discolour.  2 dishonour; sully the reputation or
             name of.  [BE- + SMIRCH]

   besom     n.  1 a broom made of twigs tied round a stick.  2 esp. N.Engl.
             derog. or joc. a woman.  [OE besema]

   besotted  adj.  1 infatuated.  2 foolish, confused.  3 intoxicated,
             stupefied.  [besot (v.) (as BE-, SOT)]

   besought  past and past part. of BESEECH.

   bespangle v.tr.  adorn with spangles.

   bespatter v.tr.  1 spatter (an object) all over.  2 spatter (liquid etc.)
             about.  3 overwhelm with abuse etc.

   bespeak   v.tr.  (past bespoke; past part.  bespoken or as adj.  bespoke)
             1 engage in advance.  2 order (goods).  3 suggest; be evidence
             of (his gift bespeaks a kind heart).  4 literary speak to.  [OE
             bisprecan (as BE-, SPEAK)]

             adj.  wearing spectacles.

   bespoke   past and past part. of BESPEAK.  --adj.  1 (of goods, esp.
             clothing) made to order.  2 (of a tradesman) making goods to

   bespoken  past part. of BESPEAK.

             v.tr.  1 sprinkle or strew all over with liquid etc.  2 sprinkle
             (liquid etc.) over.  [ME f.  BE- + sprengen in the same sense]

   Bessemer converter
             n.  a special furnace used to purify pig-iron using the Bessemer
             process.  [Sir H.  Bessemer, Engl. engineer d. 1898]

   Bessemer process
             n.  a process once widely used, in which air is blown through
             molten pig-iron to remove carbon, silicon, and other impurities
             in order to render it suitable for making steel.

   best      adj., adv., n., & v.  --adj. (superl. of GOOD) of the most
             excellent or outstanding or desirable kind (my best work; the
             best solution; the best thing to do would be to confess).
             --adv. (superl. of WELL(1)).  1 in the best manner (does it
             best).  2 to the greatest degree (like it best).  3 most
             usefully (is best ignored).  --n.  1 that which is best (the
             best is yet to come).  2 the chief merit or advantage (brings
             out the best in him).  3 (foll. by of) a winning majority of (a
             certain number of games etc. played) (the best of five).  4 =
             Sunday best.  --v.tr.  colloq. defeat, outwit, outbid, etc.
             Ьall the best an expression used to wish a person good fortune.
             as best one can (or may) as effectively as possible under the
             circumstances.  at best on the most optimistic view.  at one's
             best in peak condition etc.  at the best of times even in the
             most favourable circumstances.  be for (or all for) the best be
             desirable in the end.  best end of neck the rib end of a neck of
             lamb etc. for cooking.  best man the bridegroom's chief
             attendant at a wedding.  the best part of most of.  best seller
             1 a book or other item that has sold in large numbers.  2 the
             author of such a book.  do one's best do all one can.  get the
             best of defeat, outwit.  give a person the best admit the
             superiority of that person.  had best would find it wisest to.
             make the best of derive what limited advantage one can from
             (something unsatisfactory or unwelcome); put up with.  to the
             best of one's ability, knowledge , etc. as far as one can do,
             know, etc.  with the best of them as well as anyone.  [OE betest
             (adj.), bet(o)st (adv.), f. Gmc]

   bestial   adj.  1 brutish, cruel, savage.  2 sexually depraved; lustful.
             3 of or like a beast.  ЬЬbestialize v.tr.  (also -ise).
             bestially adv.  [ME f. OF f. LL bestialis f.  bestia beast]

             n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 bestial behaviour or an instance of this.  2
             sexual intercourse between a person and an animal.  [F
             bestialit‚ (as BESTIAL)]

   bestiary  n.  (pl.  -ies) a moralizing medieval treatise on real and
             imaginary beasts.  [med.L bestiarium f. L bestia beast]

   bestir    v.refl.  (bestirred, bestirring) exert or rouse (oneself).

   bestow    v.tr.  1 (foll. by on, upon) confer (a gift, right, etc.).  2
             deposit.  ЬЬbestowal n.  [ME f.  BE- + OE stow a place]

   bestrew   v.tr.  (past part.  bestrewed or bestrewn) 1 (foll. by with)
             cover or partly cover (a surface).  2 scatter (things) about.  3
             lie scattered over.  [OE bestreowian (as BE-, STREW)]

   bestride  v.tr.  (past bestrode; past part.  bestridden) 1 sit astride on.
             2 stand astride over.  [OE bestridan]

   bet       v. & n.  --v.  (betting; past and past part.  bet or betted) 1
             intr. (foll. by on or against with ref. to the outcome) risk a
             sum of money etc. against another's on the basis of the outcome
             of an unpredictable event (esp. the result of a race, game,
             etc., or the outcome in a game of chance).  2 tr. risk (an
             amount) on such an outcome or result (bet њ10 on a horse).  3
             tr. risk a sum of money against (a person).  4 tr.  colloq. feel
             sure (bet they've forgotten it).  --n.  1 the act of betting
             (make a bet).  2 the money etc. staked (put a bet on).  3
             colloq. an opinion, esp. a quickly formed or spontaneous one (my
             bet is that he won't come).  4 colloq. a choice or course of
             action (she's our best bet).  Ьyou bet you may be sure.  [16th
             c.: perh. a shortened form of ABET]

   beta      n.  1 the second letter of the Greek alphabet (B, б).  2 a
             second-class mark given for a piece of work or in an
             examination.  3 Astron. the second brightest star in a
             constellation.  4 the second member of a series.  Ьbeta-blocker
             Pharm.  a drug that prevents the stimulation of increased
             cardiac action, used to treat angina and reduce high blood
             pressure.  beta particle (or ray) a fast-moving electron emitted
             by radioactive decay of substances (orig. regarded as rays).
             [ME f. L f. Gk]

   betake    v.refl.  (past betook; past part.  betaken) (foll. by to) go to
             (a place or person).

   betatron  n.  Physics an apparatus for accelerating electrons in a
             circular path by magnetic induction.  [BETA + -TRON]

   betel     n.  the leaf of the Asian evergreen climbing plant Piper betle,
             chewed in the East with parings of the areca nut.  Ьbetel-nut
             the areca nut.  [Port. f. Malayalam vettila]

   b€te noire
             n.  (pl.  b€tes noires pronunc. same) a person or thing one
             particularly dislikes or fears.  [F, = black beast]

   bethink   v.refl.  (past and past part.  bethought) (foll. by of, how, or
             that + clause) formal 1 reflect; stop to think.  2 be reminded
             by reflection.  [OE bithencan f. Gmc (as BE-, THINK)]

   betide    v.  (only in infin. and 3rd sing. subj.)  1 tr. happen to (woe
             betide him).  2 intr. happen (whate'er may betide).  [ME f. obs.
             tide befall f. OE tidan]

   betimes   adv.  literary early; in good time.  [ME f. obs.  betime (as BY,

   b€tise    n.  1 a foolish or ill-timed remark or action.  2 a piece of
             folly.  [F]

   betoken   v.tr.  1 be a sign of; indicate.  2 augur.  [OE (as BE-, tacnian
             signify: see TOKEN)]

   betony    n.  1 a purple-flowered plant, Stachys officinalis.  2 any of
             various similar plants.  [ME f. OF betoine f. L betonica]

   betook    past of BETAKE.

   betray    v.tr.  1 place (a person, one's country, etc.) in the hands or
             power of an enemy.  2 be disloyal to (another person, a person's
             trust, etc.).  3 reveal involuntarily or treacherously; be
             evidence of (his shaking hand betrayed his fear).  4 lead astray
             or into error.  ЬЬbetrayal n.  betrayer n.  [ME f. obs.  tray,
             ult. f. L tradere hand over]

   betroth   v.tr. (usu. as betrothed adj.) bind with a promise to marry.
             ЬЬbetrothal n.  [ME f.  BE- + trouthe, treuthe TRUTH, later
             assim. to TROTH]

   better(1) adj., adv., n., & v.  --adj. (compar. of GOOD).  1 of a more
             excellent or outstanding or desirable kind (a better product; it
             would be better to go home).  2 partly or fully recovered from
             illness (feeling better).  --adv. (compar. of WELL(1)).  1 in a
             better manner (she sings better).  2 to a greater degree (like
             it better).  3 more usefully or advantageously (is better
             forgotten).  --n.  1 that which is better (the better of the
             two).  2 (usu. in pl.; prec. by my etc.) one's superior in
             ability or rank (take notice of your betters).  --v.  1 tr.
             improve on; surpass (I can better his offer).  2 tr. make
             better; improve.  3 refl. improve one's position etc.  4 intr.
             become better; improve.  Ьbetter feelings one's conscience.
             better half colloq.  one's wife or husband.  better off in a
             better (esp. financial) position.  the better part of most of.
             for better or for worse on terms accepting all results; whatever
             the outcome.  get the better of defeat, outwit; win an advantage
             over.  go one better 1 outbid etc. by one.  2 outdo another
             person.  had better would find it wiser to.  [OE betera f. Gmc]

   better(2) n.  (also bettor) a person who bets.

             n.  1 making better; improvement.  2 Econ. enhanced value (of
             real property) arising from local improvements.

   betting   n.  1 gambling by risking money on an unpredictable outcome.  2
             the odds offered in this.  Ьbetting-shop Brit.  a bookmaker's
             shop or office.  what's the betting?  colloq.  it is likely or
             to be expected (what's the betting he'll be late?).

   bettor    var. of BETTER(2).

   between   prep. & adv.  --prep.  1 a at or to a point in the area or
             interval bounded by two or more other points in space, time,
             etc. (broke down between London and Dover; we must meet between
             now and Friday).  b along the extent of such an area or interval
             (there are five shops between here and the main road; works best
             between five and six; the numbers between 10 and 20).  2
             separating, physically or conceptually (the distance between
             here and Leeds; the difference between right and wrong).  3 a by
             combining the resources of (great potential between them;
             between us we could afford it).  b shared by; as the joint
             resources of (њ5 between them).  c by joint or reciprocal action
             (an agreement between us; sorted it out between themselves).
             °In sense 3 with reference to more than two people or things is
             established and acceptable (e.g.  relations between Britain,
             France, and Germany).  4 to and from (runs between London and
             Sheffield).  5 taking one and rejecting the other of (decide
             between eating here and going out).  --adv.  (also in between)
             at a point or in the area bounded by two or more other points in
             space, time, sequence, etc. (not fat or thin but in between).
             Ьbetween ourselves (or you and me) in confidence.  between times
             (or whiles) in the intervals between other actions;
             occasionally.  [OE betweonum f. Gmc (as BY, TWO)]

   betwixt   prep. & adv.  archaic between.  Ьbetwixt and between colloq.
             neither one thing nor the other.  [ME f. OE betweox f. Gmc: cf.

   BeV       abbr.  a billion (=10(9)) electron-volts. Also called GEV.

   bevatron  n.  a synchrotron used to accelerate protons to energies in the
             billion electronvolt range.  [BEV + -TRON]

   bevel     n. & v.  --n.  1 a slope from the horizontal or vertical in
             carpentry and stonework; a sloping surface or edge.  2 (in full
             bevel square) a tool for marking angles in carpentry and
             stonework.  --v.  (bevelled, bevelling; US beveled, beveling) 1
             tr. reduce (a square edge) to a sloping edge.  2 intr. slope at
             an angle; slant.  Ьbevel gear a gear working another gear at an
             angle to it by means of bevel wheels.  bevel wheel a toothed
             wheel whose working face is oblique to the axis.  [OF bevel
             (unrecorded) f.  ba‹f f.  baer gape]

   beverage  n.  formal a drink (hot beverage; alcoholic beverage).  [ME f.
             OF be(u)vrage, ult. f. L bibere drink]

   bevy      n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 a flock of quails or larks.  2 a company or
             group (orig. of women).  [15th c.: orig. unkn.]

   bewail    v.tr.  1 greatly regret or lament.  2 wail over; mourn for.
             ЬЬbewailer n.

   beware    v.  (only in imper. or infin.) 1 intr. (often foll. by of, or
             that, lest, etc. + clause) be cautious, take heed (beware of the
             dog; told us to beware; beware that you don't fall).  2 tr. be
             cautious of (beware the Ides of March).  [BE + WARE(3)]

   bewilder  v.tr.  utterly perplex or confuse.  ЬЬbewilderedly adv.
             bewildering adj.  bewilderingly adv.  bewilderment n.  [BE- +
             obs.  wilder lose one's way]

   bewitch   v.tr.  1 enchant; greatly delight.  2 cast a spell on.
             ЬЬbewitching adj.  bewitchingly adv.  [ME f.  BE- + OE wiccian
             enchant f.  wicca WITCH]

   bey       n.  hist.  (in the Ottoman Empire) the title of a governor of a
             province.  [Turk.]

   beyond    prep., adv., & n.  --prep.  1 at or to the further side of
             (beyond the river).  2 outside the scope, range, or
             understanding of (beyond repair; beyond a joke; it is beyond
             me).  3 more than.  --adv.  1 at or to the further side.  2
             further on.  --n. (prec. by the) the unknown after death.  Ьthe
             back of beyond see BACK.  [OE beg(e)ondan (as BY, YON, YONDER)]

   bezant    n.  1 hist. a gold or silver coin orig. minted at Byzantium.  2
             Heraldry a gold roundel.  [ME f. OF besanz -ant f. L Byzantius

   bezel     n.  1 the sloped edge of a chisel.  2 the oblique faces of a cut
             gem.  3 a a groove holding a watch-glass or gem.  b a rim
             holding a glass etc. cover.  [OF besel (unrecorded: cf. F
             b‚seau, bizeau) of unkn. orig.]

   bezique   n.  1 a card-game for two with a double pack of 64 cards,
             including the ace to seven only in each suit.  2 a combination
             of the queen of spades and the jack of diamonds in this game.
             [F b‚sigue, perh. f. Pers.  bazigar juggler]

   bezoar    n.  a small stone which may form in the stomachs of certain
             animals, esp. ruminants, and which was once used as an antidote
             for various ills.  [ult. f. Pers.  padzahr antidote, Arab.

7.0 b.f.

   b.f.      abbr.  1 Brit.  colloq. bloody fool.  2 brought forward.  3
             Printing bold face.

8.0 bhang...

   bhang     n.  the leaves and flower-tops of Indian hemp used as a
             narcotic.  [Port.  bangue, Pers.  bang, & Urdu etc.  bhang f.
             Skr.  bhanga]

   bharal    n.  (also burhel) a Himalayan wild sheep, Pseudois nayaur, with
             blue-black coat and horns curved rearward.  [Hindi]

   b.h.p.    abbr.  brake horsepower.

9.0 Bi...

   Bi        symb.  Chem.  the element bismuth.

   bi-       comb. form (often bin- before a vowel) forming nouns and
             adjectives meaning: 1 having two; a thing having two (bilateral;
             binaural; biplane).  2 a occurring twice in every one or once in
             every two (bi-weekly).  b lasting for two (biennial).  3 doubly;
             in two ways (biconcave).  4 Chem. a substance having a double
             proportion of the acid etc. indicated by the simple word
             (bicarbonate).  5 Bot. & Zool. (of division and subdivision)
             twice over (bipinnate).  [L]

   biannual  adj.  occurring, appearing, etc., twice a year (cf.  BIENNIAL).
             ЬЬbiannually adv.

   bias      n. & v.  --n.  1 (often foll. by towards, against) a
             predisposition or prejudice.  2 Statistics a systematic
             distortion of a statistical result due to a factor not allowed
             for in its derivation.  3 an edge cut obliquely across the weave
             of a fabric.  4 Sport a the irregular shape given to a bowl.  b
             the oblique course this causes it to run.  5 Electr. a steady
             voltage, magnetic field, etc., applied to an electronic system
             or device.  --v.tr.  (biased, biasing; biassed, biassing) 1
             (esp. as biased adj.) influence (usu. unfairly); prejudice.  2
             give a bias to.  Ьbias binding a strip of fabric cut obliquely
             and used to bind edges.  on the bias obliquely, diagonally.  [F
             biais, of unkn. orig.]

   biathlon  n.  Sport an athletic contest in skiing and shooting.
             ЬЬbiathlete n.  [BI-, after PENTATHLON]

   biaxial   adj.  (esp. of crystals) having two axes along which polarized
             light travels with equal velocity.

   bib(1)    n.  1 a piece of cloth or plastic fastened round a child's neck
             to keep the clothes clean while eating.  2 the top front part of
             an apron, dungarees, etc.  3 the edible marine fish Trisopterus
             luscus of the cod family. Also called POUT(2).  Ьbest bib and
             tucker best clothes.  stick (or poke etc.) one's bib in Austral.
             sl.  interfere.  [perh. f.  BIB(2)]

   bib(2)    v.intr.  (bibbed, bibbing) archaic drink much or often.
             ЬЬbibber n.  [ME, perh. f. L bibere drink]

   bib-cock  n.  a tap with a bent nozzle fixed at the end of a pipe.  [perh.
             f.  BIB(1) + COCK(1)]

   bibelot   n.  a small curio or artistic trinket.  [F]

   Bible     n.  1 a the Christian scriptures consisting of the Old and New
             Testaments.  b the Jewish scriptures.  c (bible) any copy of
             these (three bibles on the table).  d a particular edition of
             the Bible (New English Bible).  2 colloq. any authoritative book
             (Wisden is his Bible).  3 the scriptures of any non-Christian
             religion.  ЬBible-basher (or -thumper etc.) a person given to
             Bible-bashing.  Bible-bashing (or -thumping etc.) sl.
             aggressive fundamentalist preaching.  Bible belt esp.  US the
             reputedly puritanical area of the southern and central US.
             Bible oath a solemn oath taken on the Bible.  [ME f. OF f.
             eccl.L biblia f. Gk biblia books (pl. of biblion), orig. dimin.
             of biblos, bublos papyrus]

   biblical  adj.  1 of, concerning, or contained in the Bible.  2 resembling
             the language of the Authorized Version of the Bible.
             ЬЬbiblically adv.

   biblio-   comb. form denoting a book or books.  [Gk f.  biblion book]

             n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 a a list of the books referred to in a
             scholarly work, usu.  printed as an appendix.  b a list of the
             books of a specific author or publisher, or on a specific
             subject, etc.  2 a the history or description of books,
             including authors, editions, etc.  b any book containing such
             information.  ЬЬbibliographer n.  bibliographic adj.
             bibliographical adj.  bibliographically adv.  bibliographize
             v.tr.  (also -ise).  [F bibliographie f. mod.L bibliographia f.
             Gk (as BIBLE, -GRAPHY)]

             n.  foretelling the future by the analysis of a randomly chosen
             passage from a book, esp. the Bible.

             n.  an extreme enthusiasm for collecting and possessing books.
             ЬЬbibliomaniac n. & adj.

             n.  (also bibliophil) a person who collects or is fond of books.
             ЬЬbibliophilic adj.  bibliophily n.  [F bibliophile (as BIBLIO-,

             n.  a seller of (esp. rare) books.  ЬЬbibliopoly n.  [L
             bibliopola f. Gk bibliopoles f.  biblion book + poles seller]

   bibulous  adj.  given to drinking alcoholic liquor.  ЬЬbibulously adv.
             bibulousness n.  [L bibulus freely drinking f.  bibere drink]

   bicameral adj.  (of a parliament or legislative body) having two chambers.
             ЬЬbicameralism n.  [BI- + L camera chamber]

   bicarb    n.  colloq.  = BICARBONATE 2.  [abbr.]

             n.  1 Chem. any acid salt of carbonic acid.  2 (in full
             bicarbonate of soda) sodium bicarbonate used as an antacid or in
             baking powder.

   bice      n.  1 any of various pigments made from blue or green basic
             copper carbonate.  2 any similar pigment made from smalt.  3 a
             shade of blue or green given by these.  Ьblue bice a shade of
             blue between ultramarine and azure derived from smalt.  green
             bice a yellowish green colour derived by adding yellow orpiment
             to smalt.  [orig. = brownish grey, f. OF bis dark grey, of unkn.

             n. & adj.  --n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 a two-hundredth anniversary.  2 a
             celebration of this.  --adj. of or concerning a bicentenary.

             n. & adj.  esp.  US --n. a bicentenary.  --adj.  1 lasting two
             hundred years or occurring every two hundred years.  2 of or
             concerning a bicentenary.

             adj.  having two heads.

   biceps    n.  a muscle having two heads or attachments, esp. the one which
             bends the elbow.  [L, = two-headed, formed as BI- + - ceps f.
             caput head]

   bicker    v.intr.  1 quarrel pettily; wrangle.  2 poet.  a (of a stream,
             rain, etc.) patter (over stones etc.).  b (of a flame, light,
             etc.) flash, flicker.  ЬЬbickerer n.  [ME biker, beker, of unkn.

   bicolour  adj. & n.  --adj. having two colours.  --n. a bicolour blossom
             or animal.

   biconcave adj.  (esp. of a lens) concave on both sides.

   biconvex  adj.  (esp. of a lens) convex on both sides.

             adj.  having or combining two cultures.

   bicuspid  adj. & n.  --adj. having two cusps or points.  --n.  1 the
             premolar tooth in humans.  2 a tooth with two cusps.
             ЬЬbicuspidate adj.  [BI- + L cuspis -idis sharp point]

   bicycle   n. & v.  --n. a vehicle of two wheels held in a frame one behind
             the other, propelled by pedals and steered with handlebars
             attached to the front wheel.  --v.intr. ride a bicycle.
             Ьbicycle-chain a chain transmitting power from the bicycle
             pedals to the wheels.  bicycle-clip either of two metal clips
             used to confine a cyclist's trousers at the ankle.  bicycle-pump
             a portable pump for inflating bicycle tyres.  ЬЬbicycler n.
             bicyclist n.  [F f.  BI- + Gk kuklos wheel]

   bid       v. & n.  --v.  (bidding; past bid, archaic bade; past part.
             bid, archaic bidden) 1 tr. & intr.  (past and past part.  bid)
             (often foll. by for, against) a (esp. at an auction) offer (a
             certain price) (did not bid for the vase; bid against the
             dealer; bid њ20).  b offer to do work etc. for a stated price.
             2 tr.  archaic or literary a command; order (bid the soldiers
             shoot).  b invite (bade her start).  3 tr.  archaic or literary
             a utter (greeting or farewell) to (I bade him welcome).  b
             proclaim (defiance etc.).  4 (past and past part.  bid) Cards a
             intr. state before play how many tricks one intends to make.  b
             tr. state (one's intended number of tricks).  --n.  1 a (esp. at
             an auction) an offer (of a price) (a bid of њ5).  b an offer (to
             do work, supply goods, etc.) at a stated price; a tender.  2
             Cards a statement of the number of tricks a player proposes to
             make.  3 colloq. an attempt; an effort (a bid for power).  Ьbid
             fair to seem likely to.  make a bid for try to gain (made a bid
             for freedom).  ЬЬbidder n.  [OE biddan ask f. Gmc, & OE beodan
             offer, command]

   biddable  adj.  1 obedient.  2 Cards (of a hand or suit) suitable for
             being bid.  ЬЬbiddability n.

   bidden    archaic past part. of BID.

   bidding   n.  1 the offers at an auction.  2 Cards the act of making a bid
             or bids.  3 a command, request, or invitation.  Ьbidding-prayer
             one inviting the congregation to join in.

   biddy     n.  (pl.  -ies) sl.  derog.  a woman (esp. old biddy).
             [pet-form of the name Bridget]

   bide      v.intr.  archaic or dial.  remain; stay.  Ьbide one's time await
             one's best opportunity.  [OE bidan f. Gmc]

   bidet     n.  a low oval basin used esp. for washing the genital area.
             [F, = pony]

             attrib.adj.  1 (of styles, furnishings, etc.) characteristic of
             the period 1815-48 in Germany.  2 derog. conventional;
             bourgeois.  [Biedermaier a fictitious German poet (1854)]

   biennial  adj. & n.  --adj.  1 lasting two years.  2 recurring every two
             years (cf.  BIANNUAL).  --n.  1 Bot. a plant that takes two
             years to grow from seed to fruition and die (cf.  ANNUAL,
             PERENNIAL).  2 an event celebrated or taking place every two
             years.  ЬЬbiennially adv.  [L biennis (as BI-, annus year)]

   biennium  n.  (pl.  bienniums or biennia) a period of two years.  [L (as

   bier      n.  a movable frame on which a coffin or a corpse is placed, or
             taken to a grave.  [OE ber f. Gmc]

   biff      n. & v.  sl.  --n. a sharp blow.  --v.tr. strike (a person).

   biffin    n.  Brit.  a deep-red cooking-apple.  [= beefing f.  BEEF +
             -ING(1), with ref. to the colour]

   bifid     adj.  divided by a deep cleft into two parts.  [L bifidus (as
             BI-, fidus f. stem of findere cleave)]

   bifocal   adj. & n.  --adj. having two focuses, esp. of a lens with a part
             for distant vision and a part for near vision.  --n. (in pl.)
             bifocal spectacles.

   bifurcate v. & adj.  --v.tr. & intr. divide into two branches; fork.
             --adj. forked; branched.  [med.L bifurcare f. L bifurcus
             two-forked (as BI-, furca fork)]

             n.  1 a a division into two branches.  b either or both of such
             branches.  2 the point of such a division.

   big       adj. & adv.  --adj.  (bigger, biggest) 1 a of considerable size,
             amount, intensity, etc. (a big mistake; a big helping).  b of a
             large or the largest size (big toe; big drum).  2 important;
             significant; outstanding (the big race; my big chance).  3 a
             grown up (a big boy now).  b elder (big sister).  4 colloq.  a
             boastful (big words; big mouth).  b often iron. generous (big of
             him).  c ambitious (big ideas).  5 (usu. foll. by with) advanced
             in pregnancy; fecund (big with child; big with consequences).
             --adv.  colloq. in a big manner, esp.: 1 effectively (went over
             big).  2 boastfully (talk big).  3 ambitiously (think big).
             ЬBig Apple US sl.  New York City.  big band a large jazz or pop
             orchestra.  big bang Stock Exch.  (in the UK) the introduction
             in 1986 of important changes in the regulations and procedures
             for trading, esp. the widening of membership, the relaxation of
             rules for brokers, and the introduction of computerized
             communications.  big bang theory the theory that the universe
             began with the explosion of dense matter.  Big Ben the great
             clock tower of the Houses of Parliament and its bell.  Big Board
             US colloq.  the New York Stock Exchange.  Big Brother an
             all-powerful supposedly benevolent dictator (as in Orwell's
             1984).  big bud a plant disease caused by the gall-mite.  big
             bug sl. = BIGWIG.  big business large-scale financial dealings,
             esp. when sinister or exploitative.  Big Chief (or Daddy) sl. =
             BIGWIG.  big deal!  sl.  iron.  I am not impressed.  big dipper
             1 a fairground switchback.  2 US = the Great Bear (see BEAR(2)).
             big end (in a motor vehicle) the end of the connecting-rod that
             encircles the crankpin.  big game large animals hunted for
             sport.  big gun sl. = BIGWIG.  big-head colloq.  a conceited
             person.  big-headed colloq.  conceited.  big-headedness colloq.
             conceitedness.  big-hearted generous.  big house 1 the principal
             house in a village etc.  2 sl. a prison.  big idea often iron.
             the important intention or scheme.  big money large amounts;
             high profit; high pay.  big name a famous person.  big noise (or
             pot or shot) colloq. = BIGWIG.  big smoke Brit.  sl.  1 London.
             2 any large town.  big stick a display of force.  Big Three (or
             Four etc.) the predominant few.  the big time sl.  success in a
             profession, esp. show business.  big-timer sl.  a person who
             achieves success.  big top the main tent in a circus.  big tree
             US a giant evergreen conifer, Sequoiadendron giganteum, usu.
             with a trunk of large girth.  big wheel 1 a Ferris wheel.  2 US
             sl. = BIGWIG.  come (or go) over big make a great effect.  in a
             big way 1 on a large scale.  2 colloq. with great enthusiasm,
             display, etc.  look (or talk) big boast.  think big be
             ambitious.  too big for one's boots (or breeches) sl.
             conceited.  ЬЬbiggish adj.  bigness n.  [ME: orig. unkn.]

   bigamy    n.  (pl.  -ies) the crime of marrying when one is lawfully
             married to another person.  ЬЬbigamist n.  bigamous adj.  [ME f.
             OF bigamie f.  bigame bigamous f. LL bigamus (as BI-, Gk gamos

   bighorn   n.  an American sheep, Ovis canadensis, esp. native to the Rocky

   bight     n.  1 a curve or recess in a coastline, river, etc.  2 a loop of
             rope.  [OE byht, MLG bucht f. Gmc: see BOW(2)]

   bigot     n.  an obstinate and intolerant believer in a religion,
             political theory, etc.  ЬЬbigotry n.  [16th c. f. F: orig.

   bigoted   adj.  unreasonably prejudiced and intolerant.

   bigwig    n.  colloq.  an important person.

   bijou     n. & adj.  --n.  (pl.  bijoux pronunc. same) a jewel; a trinket.
             --attrib.adj. (bijou) small and elegant.  [F]

             n.  jewellery; trinkets.  [F (as BIJOU, -ERY)]

   bike      n. & v.  colloq.  --n. a bicycle or motor cycle.  --v.intr. ride
             a bicycle or motor cycle.  [abbr.]

   biker     n.  a cyclist, esp. a motor cyclist.

   bikini    n.  a two-piece swimsuit for women.  Ьbikini briefs women's
             scanty briefs.  [Bikini, an atoll in the Marshall Islands in the
             Pacific where an atomic bomb was exploded in 1946, from the
             supposed 'explosive' effect]

   bilabial  adj.  Phonet.  (of a sound etc.) made with closed or nearly
             closed lips.

   bilateral adj.  1 of, on, or with two sides.  2 affecting or between two
             parties, countries, etc. (bilateral negotiations).  Ьbilateral
             symmetry symmetry about a plane.  ЬЬbilaterally adv.

   bilberry  n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 a hardy dwarf shrub, Vaccinium myrtillus, of
             N. Europe, growing on heaths and mountains, and having red
             drooping flowers and dark blue berries.  2 the small blue edible
             berry of this species.  3 any of various shrubs of the genus
             Vaccinium having dark blue berries.  [orig. uncert.: cf. Da.

   bilbo     n.  (pl.  -os or -oes) hist.  a sword noted for the temper and
             elasticity of its blade.  [Bilboa = Bilbao in Spain]

   bilboes   n.pl.  hist.  an iron bar with sliding shackles for a prisoner's
             ankles.  [16th c.: orig. unkn.]

             n.  a novel dealing with one person's early life and
             development.  [G]

   bile      n.  1 a bitter greenish-brown alkaline fluid which aids
             digestion and is secreted by the liver and stored in the
             gall-bladder.  2 bad temper; peevish anger.  Ьbile-duct the duct
             which conveys bile from the liver and the gall-bladder to the
             duodenum.  [F f. L bilis]

   bilge     n. & v.  --n.  1 a the almost flat part of a ship's bottom,
             inside or out.  b (in full bilge-water) filthy water that
             collects inside the bilge.  2 sl. nonsense; rot (don't talk
             bilge).  --v.  1 tr. stave in the bilge of (a ship).  2 intr.
             spring a leak in the bilge.  3 intr. swell out; bulge.
             Ьbilge-keel a plate or timber fastened under the bilge to
             prevent rolling.  [prob. var. of BULGE]

   bilharzia n.  1 a tropical flatworm of the genus Schistosoma (formerly
             Bilharzia) which is parasitic in blood vessels in the human
             pelvic region.  Also called SCHISTOSOME.  2 the chronic tropical
             disease produced by its presence. Also called BILHARZIASIS,
             SCHISTOSOMIASIS.  [mod.L f. T.  Bilharz, Ger. physician d. 1862]

             n.  the disease of bilharzia. Also called SCHISTOSOMIASIS.

   biliary   adj.  of the bile.  [F biliaire: see BILE, -ARY(2)]

   bilingual adj. & n.  --adj.  1 able to speak two languages, esp. fluently.
             2 spoken or written in two languages.  --n. a bilingual person.
             ЬЬbilingualism n.  [L bilinguis (as BI-, lingua tongue)]

   bilious   adj.  1 affected by a disorder of the bile.  2 bad-tempered.
             ЬЬbiliously adv.  biliousness n.  [L biliosus f.  bilis bile]

   bilirubin n.  the orange-yellow pigment occurring in bile.  [G f. L bilis
             BILE + ruber red]

   bilk      v.tr.  sl.  1 cheat.  2 give the slip to.  3 avoid paying (a
             creditor or debt).  ЬЬbilker n.  [orig. uncert., perh. = BALK:
             earliest use (17th c.) in cribbage, = spoil one's opponent's

   bill(1)   n. & v.  --n.  1 a a printed or written statement of charges for
             goods supplied or services rendered.  b the amount owed (ran up
             a bill of њ300).  2 a draft of a proposed law.  3 a a poster; a
             placard.  b = HANDBILL.  4 a a printed list, esp. a theatre
             programme.  b the entertainment itself (top of the bill).  5 US
             a banknote (ten dollar bill).  --v.tr.  1 put in the programme;
             announce.  2 (foll. by as) advertise.  3 send a note of charges
             to (billed him for the books).  Ьbill of exchange Econ.  a
             written order to pay a sum of money on a given date to the
             drawer or to a named payee.  bill of fare 1 a menu.  2 a
             programme (for a theatrical event).  bill of health 1 Naut. a
             certificate regarding infectious disease on a ship or in a port
             at the time of sailing.  2 (clean bill of health) a such a
             certificate stating that there is no disease.  b a declaration
             that a person or thing examined has been found to be free of
             illness or in good condition.  bill of indictment hist. or US a
             written accusation as presented to a grand jury.  bill of lading
             Naut.  1 a shipmaster's detailed list of the ship's cargo.  2 US
             = WAYBILL.  Bill of Rights 1 Law the English constitutional
             settlement of 1689.  2 Law (in the US) the constitutional
             amendments of 1791.  3 a statement of the rights of a class of
             people.  bill of sale Econ.  a certificate of transfer of
             personal property, esp. as a security against debt.  ЬЬbillable
             adj.  [ME f. AF bille, AL billa, prob. alt. of med.L bulla seal,
             sealed documents, BULL(2)]

   bill(2)   n. & v.  --n.  1 the beak of a bird, esp. when it is slender,
             flattened, or weak, or belongs to a web-footed bird or a bird of
             the pigeon family.  2 the muzzle of a platypus.  3 a narrow
             promontory.  4 the point of an anchor-fluke.  --v.intr. (of
             doves etc.) stroke a bill with a bill.  Ьbill and coo exchange
             caresses.  ЬЬbilled adj. (usu. in comb.).  [OE bile, of unkn.

   bill(3)   n.  1 hist. a weapon like a halberd with a hook instead of a
             blade.  2 = BILLHOOK.  [OE bil, ult. f. Gmc]

   billabong n.  Austral.  a branch of a river forming a backwater or a
             stagnant pool.  [Aboriginal Billibang Bell River f.  billa

   billboard n.  esp.  US a large outdoor board for advertisements etc.

   billet(1) n. & v.  --n.  1 a a place where troops etc. are lodged, usu.
             with civilians.  b a written order requiring a householder to
             lodge the bearer, usu. a soldier.  2 colloq. a situation; a job.
             --v.tr.  (billeted, billeting) 1 (usu. foll. by on, in, at)
             quarter (soldiers etc.).  2 (of a householder) provide (a
             soldier etc.) with board and lodging.  ЬЬbilletee n.  billeter
             n.  [ME f. AF billette, AL billetta, dimin. of billa BILL(1)]

   billet(2) n.  1 a thick piece of firewood.  2 a small metal bar.  3
             Archit. each of a series of short rolls inserted at intervals in
             Norman decorative mouldings.  [ME f. F billette small log, ult.
             prob. of Celtic orig.]

             n.  (pl.  billets-doux) often joc.  a love-letter.  [F, = sweet

   billfold  n.  US a wallet for keeping banknotes.

   billhead  n.  a printed account form.

   billhook  n.  a sickle-shaped tool with a sharp inner edge, used for
             pruning, lopping, etc.

   billiards n.  1 a game played on an oblong cloth-covered table, with three
             balls struck with cues into pockets round the edge of the table.
             2 (billiard) (in comb.) used in billiards (billiard-ball;
             billiard-table).  [orig. pl., f. F billard billiards, cue,
             dimin. of bille log: see BILLET(2)]

   billion   n. & adj.  --n.  (pl. same or (in sense 3) billions) (in sing.
             prec. by a or one) 1 a thousand million (1,000,000,000 or
             10(9)).  2 (now less often, esp.  Brit.) a million million
             (1,000,000,000,000 or 10(12)).  3 (in pl.) colloq. a very large
             number (billions of years).  --adj. that amount to a billion.
             ЬЬbillionth adj. & n.  [F (as BI-, MILLION)]

             n.  a person possessing over a billion pounds, dollars, etc.
             [after MILLIONAIRE]

   billon    n.  an alloy of gold or silver with a predominating admixture of
             a base metal.  [F f.  bille BILLET(2)]

   billow    n. & v.  --n.  1 a wave.  2 a soft upward-curving flow.  3 any
             large soft mass.  --v.intr. move or build up in billows.
             ЬЬbillowy adj.  [ON bylgja f. Gmc]

             n.  (also billsticker) a person who pastes up advertisements on
             hoardings.  ЬЬbillposting n.

   billy(1)  n.  (pl.  -ies) (in full billycan) orig.  Austral.  a tin or
             enamel cooking-pot with a lid and wire handle, for use out of
             doors.  [perh. f. Abor.  billa water]

   billy(2)  n.  (pl.  -ies) = BILLY-GOAT.

   billycan  n.  = BILLY(1).

             n.  a male goat.  [Billy, pet-form of the name William]

   billy-oh  n.  Ьlike billy-oh sl.  very much, hard, strongly, etc. (raining
             like billy-oh).  [19th c.: orig. unkn.]

   bilobate  adj.  (also bilobed) having or consisting of two lobes.

   biltong   n.  S.Afr.  boneless meat salted and dried in strips.  [Afrik.,
             of uncert. orig.]

   BIM       abbr.  British Institute of Management.

   bimanal   adj.  (also bimanous) having two hands.  [BI- + L manus hand]

   bimbo     n.  (pl.  -os or -oes) sl. usu.  derog.  1 a person.  2 a woman,
             esp. a young empty-headed one.  [It., = little child]

             adj.  1 made of two metals.  2 of or relating to bimetallism.
             Ьbimetallic strip a sensitive element in some thermostats made
             of two bands of different metals that expand at different rates
             when heated, causing the strip to bend.  [F bim‚tallique (as
             BI-, METALLIC)]

             n.  a system of allowing the unrestricted currency of two metals
             (e.g.  gold and silver) at a fixed ratio to each other, as
             coined money.  ЬЬbimetallist n.

             adj. & n.  --adj. of or relating to a two-thousandth
             anniversary.  --n.  (pl.  -ies) a bimillenary year or festival.

   bimonthly adj., adv., & n.  --adj. occurring twice a month or every two
             months.  --adv. twice a month or every two months.  --n.  (pl.
             -ies) a periodical produced bimonthly.  °Often avoided, because
             of the ambiguity of meaning, in favour of two-monthly and

   bin       n. & v.  --n. a large receptacle for storage or for depositing
             rubbish.  --v.tr.  colloq.  (binned, binning) store or put in a
             bin.  Ьbin end one of the last bottles from a bin of wine, usu.
             sold at a reduced price.  bin-liner a bag (usu. of plastic) for
             lining a rubbish bin.  [OE bin(n), binne]

   bin-      prefix var. of BI- before a vowel.

   binary    adj. & n.  --adj.  1 a dual.  b of or involving pairs.  2 of the
             arithmetical system using 2 as a base.  --n.  (pl.  -ies) 1
             something having two parts.  2 a binary number.  3 a binary
             star.  Ьbinary code Computing a coding system using the binary
             digits 0 and 1 to represent a letter, digit, or other character
             in a computer (see BCD).  binary compound Chem.  a compound
             having two elements or radicals.  binary fission the division of
             a cell or organism into two parts.  binary number (or digit) one
             of two digits (usu. 0 or 1) in a binary system of notation.
             binary star a system of two stars orbiting each other.  binary
             system a system in which information can be expressed by
             combinations of the digits 0 and 1 (corresponding to 'off' and
             'on' in computing).  binary tree a data structure in which a
             record is branched to the left when greater and to the right
             when less than the previous record.  [LL binarius f.  bini two

   binate    adj.  Bot.  1 growing in pairs.  2 composed of two equal parts.
             [mod.L binatus f. L bini two together]

   binaural  adj.  1 of or used with both ears.  2 (of sound) recorded using
             two microphones and usu. transmitted separately to the two ears.

   bind      v. & n.  --v.  (past and past part.  bound) (see also BOUNDEN).
             1 tr. (often foll. by to, on, together) tie or fasten tightly.
             2 tr.  a restrain; put in bonds.  b (as -bound adj.)
             constricted, obstructed (snowbound).  3 tr.  esp.  Cookery cause
             (ingredients) to cohere using another ingredient.  4 tr. fasten
             or hold together as a single mass.  5 tr. compel; impose an
             obligation or duty on.  6 tr.  a edge (fabric etc.) with braid
             etc.  b fix together and fasten (the pages of a book) in a
             cover.  7 tr. constipate.  8 tr. ratify (a bargain, agreement,
             etc.).  9 tr. (in passive) be required by an obligation or duty
             (am bound to answer).  10 tr. (often foll. by up) a put a
             bandage or other covering round.  b fix together with something
             put round (bound her hair).  11 tr. indenture as an apprentice.
             12 intr. (of snow etc.) cohere, stick.  13 intr. be prevented
             from moving freely.  14 intr.  sl. complain.  --n.  1 colloq. a
             nuisance; a restriction.  2 = BINE.  Ьbe bound up with be
             closely associated with.  bind over Law order (a person) to do
             something, esp. keep the peace.  bind up bandage.  I'll be bound
             a statement of assurance, or guaranteeing the truth of
             something.  [OE bindan]

   binder    n.  1 a cover for sheets of paper, for a book, etc.  2 a
             substance that acts cohesively.  3 a reaping-machine that binds
             grain into sheaves.  4 a bookbinder.

   bindery   n.  (pl.  -ies) a workshop or factory for binding books.

   bindi-eye n.  Austral.  a small perennial Australian herb, Calotis
             cuneifolia, which has a burlike fruit.  [20th c.: orig. unkn.]

   binding   n. & adj.  --n. something that binds, esp. the covers, glue,
             etc., of a book.  --adj. (often foll. by on) obligatory.

   bindweed  n.  1 convolvulus.  2 any of various species of climbing plants
             such as honeysuckle.

   bine      n.  1 the twisting stem of a climbing plant, esp. the hop.  2 a
             flexible shoot.  [orig. a dial. form of BIND]

   Binet-Simon test
             adj.  (also Binet test) Psychol.  a test used to measure
             intelligence, esp. of children.  [A.  Binet d. 1911 and T.
             Simon d. 1961, Fr. psychologists]

   binge     n. & v.  sl.  --n. a spree; a period of uncontrolled eating,
             drinking, etc.  --v.intr. go on a spree; indulge in uncontrolled
             eating, drinking, etc.  [prob. orig. dial., = soak]

   bingo     n. & int.  --n. a game for any number of players, each having a
             card of squares with numbers, which are marked off as numbers
             are randomly drawn by a caller.  --int. expressing sudden
             surprise, satisfaction, etc., as in winning at bingo.  [prob.
             imit.: cf. dial.  bing 'with a bang']

   binman    n.  (pl.  -men) colloq.  a dustman.

   binnacle  n.  a built-in housing for a ship's compass.  [earlier bittacle,
             ult. f. L habitaculum habitation f.  habitare inhabit]

   binocular adj.  adapted for or using both eyes.  [BIN- + L oculus eye]

             n.pl.  an optical instrument with a lens for each eye, for
             viewing distant objects.

   binomial  n. & adj.  --n.  1 an algebraic expression of the sum or the
             difference of two terms.  2 a two-part name, esp. in taxonomy.
             --adj. consisting of two terms.  Ьbinomial classification a
             system of classification using two terms, the first one
             indicating the genus and the second the species.  binomial
             distribution a frequency distribution of the possible number of
             successful outcomes in a given number of trials in each of which
             there is the same probability of success.  binomial theorem a
             formula for finding any power of a binomial without multiplying
             at length.  ЬЬbinomially adv.  [F bin“me or mod.L binomium (as
             BI-, Gk nomos part, portion)]

   binominal adj.  = BINOMIAL.  [L binominis (as BI-, nomen -inis name)]

   bint      n.  sl. usu.  offens.  a girl or woman.  [Arab., = daughter,

   binturong n.  a civet, Arctictis binturong, of S. Asia, with a shaggy
             black coat and a prehensile tail.  [Malay]

   bio-      comb. form 1 life (biography).  2 biological (biomathematics).
             3 of living beings (biophysics).  [Gk bios (course of) human

             n.  the study of the chemical and physico-chemical processes of
             living organisms.  ЬЬbiochemical adj.  biochemist n.

             n.  (US biocenosis) (pl.  -noses) 1 an association of different
             organisms forming a community.  2 the relationship existing
             between such organisms.  ЬЬbiocoenology n.  biocoenotic adj.
             [mod.L f.  BIO- + Gk koinosis sharing f.  koinos common]

             adj.  capable of being decomposed by bacteria or other living
             organisms.  ЬЬbiodegradability n.  biodegradation n.

             n.  1 the application of engineering techniques to biological
             processes.  2 the use of artificial tissues, organs, or organ
             components to replace damaged or absent parts of the body, e.g.
             artificial limbs, heart pacemakers, etc.  ЬЬbioengineer n. & v.

   bioethics n.pl.  (treated as sing.) the ethics of medical and biological
             research.  ЬЬbioethicist n.

             n.  the technique of using the feedback of a normally automatic
             bodily response to a stimulus, in order to acquire voluntary
             control of that response.

             n.  = CITRIN.  [BIO- + flavonoid f.  FLAVINE + -OID]

             n.  1 the synthesis of substances by living organisms.  2 the
             hypothesis that a living organism arises only from another
             similar living organism.  ЬЬbiogenetic adj.

   biogenic  adj.  produced by living organisms.

             n.  the scientific study of the geographical distribution of
             plants and animals.  ЬЬbiogeographical adj.

   biography n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 a a written account of a person's life, usu.
             by another.  b such writing as a branch of literature.  2 the
             course of a living (usu. human) being's life.  ЬЬbiographer n.
             biographic adj.  biographical adj.  [F biographie or mod.L
             biographia f. med.Gk]

             adj.  of or relating to biology or living organisms.
             Ьbiological clock an innate mechanism controlling the rhythmic
             physiological activities of an organism.  biological control the
             control of a pest by the introduction of a natural enemy.
             biological warfare warfare involving the use of toxins or
             micro-organisms.  ЬЬbiologically adv.

   biology   n.  1 the study of living organisms.  2 the plants and animals
             of a particular area.  ЬЬbiologist n.  [F biologie f. G Biologie
             (as BIO-, -LOGY)]

             n.  the emission of light by living organisms such as the
             firefly and glow-worm.  ЬЬbioluminescent adj.

   biomass   n.  the total quantity or weight of organisms in a given area or
             volume.  [BIO- + MASS(1)]

             n.  the science of the application of mathematics to biology.

   biome     n.  1 a large naturally occurring community of flora and fauna
             adapted to the particular conditions in which they occur, e.g.
             tundra.  2 the geographical region containing such a community.
             [BIO- + -OME]

             n.  the study of the mechanical laws relating to the movement or
             structure of living organisms.

   biometry  n.  (also biometrics) the application of statistical analysis to
             biological data.  ЬЬbiometric adj.  biometrical adj.
             biometrician n.

   biomorph  n.  a decorative form based on a living organism.  ЬЬbiomorphic
             adj.  [BIO- + Gk morphe form]

   bionic    adj.  1 having artificial body parts or the superhuman powers
             resulting from these.  2 relating to bionics.  ЬЬbionically adv.
             [BIO- after ELECTRONIC]

   bionics   n.pl.  (treated as sing.) the study of mechanical systems that
             function like living organisms or parts of living organisms.

   bionomics n.pl.  (treated as sing.) the study of the mode of life of
             organisms in their natural habitat and their adaptations to
             their surroundings.  ЬЬbionomic adj.  [BIO- after ECONOMICS]

             n.pl.  (treated as sing.) the science of the application of the
             laws of physics to biological phenomena.  ЬЬbiophysical adj.
             biophysicist n.

   biopsy    n.  (pl.  -ies) the examination of tissue removed from a living
             body to discover the presence, cause, or extent of a disease.
             [F biopsie f. Gk bios life + opsis sight, after necropsy]

   biorhythm n.  1 any of the recurring cycles of biological processes
             thought to affect a person's emotional, intellectual, and
             physical activity.  2 any periodic change in the behaviour or
             physiology of an organism.  ЬЬbiorhythmic adj.  biorhythmically

   bioscope  n.  S.Afr.  sl.  a cinema.

   biosphere n.  the regions of the earth's crust and atmosphere occupied by
             living organisms.  [G Biosph„re (as BIO-, SPHERE)]

             n.  the production of organic molecules by living organisms.
             ЬЬbiosynthetic adj.

   biota     n.  the animal and plant life of a region.  [mod.L: cf. Gk biote

             n.  the exploitation of biological processes for industrial and
             other purposes, esp. genetic manipulation of micro-organisms
             (for the production of antibiotics, hormones, etc.).

   biotic    adj.  1 relating to life or to living things.  2 of biological
             origin.  [F biotique or LL bioticus f. Gk biotikos f.  bios

   biotin    n.  a vitamin of the B complex, found in egg yolk, liver, and
             yeast, and involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats,
             and proteins.  [G f. Gk bios life + -IN]

   biotite   n.  Mineral.  a black, dark brown, or green micaceous mineral
             occurring as a constituent of metamorphic and igneous rocks.
             [J. B.  Biot, Fr. physicist d. 1862]

             adj.  of or involving two (esp. political) parties.
             ЬЬbipartisanship n.

   bipartite adj.  1 consisting of two parts.  2 shared by or involving two
             parties.  3 Law (of a contract, treaty, etc.) drawn up in two
             corresponding parts or between two parties.  [L bipartitus f.
             bipartire (as BI-, partire PART)]

   biped     n. & adj.  --n. a two-footed animal.  --adj. two-footed.
             ЬЬbipedal adj.  [L bipes -edis (as BI-, pes pedis foot)]

   bipinnate adj.  (of a pinnate leaf) having leaflets that are further
             subdivided in a pinnate arrangement.

   biplane   n.  an early type of aeroplane having two sets of wings, one
             above the other.

   bipolar   adj.  having two poles or extremities.  ЬЬbipolarity n.

   birch     n. & v.  --n.  1 any tree of the genus Betula, having thin
             peeling bark, bearing catkins, and found predominantly in
             northern temperate regions.  2 (in full birchwood) the hard
             fine-grained pale wood of these trees.  3 NZ any of various
             similar trees.  4 (in full birch-rod) a bundle of birch twigs
             used for flogging.  --v.tr. beat with a birch (in sense 4).
             Ьbirch-bark 1 the bark of Betula papyrifera used to make canoes.
             2 US such a canoe.  ЬЬbirchen adj.  [OE bi(e)rce f. Gmc]

   bird      n.  1 a feathered vertebrate with a beak, with two wings and two
             feet, egg-laying and usu. able to fly.  2 a game-bird.  3 Brit.
             sl. a young woman.  4 colloq. a person (a wily old bird).  5 sl.
             a a prison.  b rhymingsl. a prison sentence (short for birdlime
             = time).  Ьbird-bath a basin in a garden etc. with water for
             birds to bathe in.  bird-call 1 a bird's natural call.  2 an
             instrument imitating this.  bird cherry a wild cherry Prunus
             padus.  bird-fancier a person who knows about, collects, breeds,
             or deals in, birds.  a bird in the hand something secured or
             certain.  the bird is (or has) flown the prisoner, quarry, etc.,
             has escaped.  bird- (or birds'-) nesting hunting for birds'
             nests, usu. to get eggs.  bird of paradise any bird of the
             family Paradiseidae found chiefly in New Guinea, the males
             having very beautiful brilliantly coloured plumage.  bird of
             passage 1 a migrant.  2 any transient visitor.  bird of prey see
             PREY.  bird sanctuary an area where birds are protected and
             encouraged to breed.  the birds and the bees euphem.  sexual
             activity and reproduction.  bird's-eye --n.  1 any of several
             plants having small bright round flowers, such as the germander
             speedwell.  2 a pattern with many small spots.  --adj. of or
             having small bright round flowers (bird's-eye primrose).
             bird's-eye view a general view from above.  bird's-foot (pl.
             bird's-foots) any plant like the foot of a bird, esp. of the
             genus Lotus, having claw-shaped pods.  bird's nest soup soup
             made (esp. in Chinese cookery) from the dried gelatinous coating
             of the nests of swifts and other birds.  birds of a feather
             people of like character.  bird-strike a collision between a
             bird and an aircraft.  bird table a raised platform on which
             food for birds is placed.  bird-watcher a person who observes
             birds in their natural surroundings.  bird-watching this
             occupation.  for (or strictly for) the birds colloq.  trivial,
             uninteresting.  get the bird sl.  1 be dismissed.  2 be hissed
             at or booed.  like a bird without difficulty or hesitation.  a
             little bird an unnamed informant.  [OE brid, of unkn. orig.]

   birdbrain n.  colloq.  a stupid or flighty person.  ЬЬbirdbrained adj.

   birdcage  n.  1 a cage for birds usu. made of wire or cane.  2 an object
             of a similar design.

   birder    n.  US a bird-watcher.  ЬЬbirding n.

   birdie    n. & v.  --n.  1 colloq. a little bird.  2 Golf a score of one
             stroke less than par at any hole.  --v.tr.  (birdies, birdied,
             birdying) Golf play (a hole) in a birdie.

   birdlime  n.  sticky material painted on to twigs to trap small birds.

   birdseed  n.  a blend of seed for feeding birds, esp. ones which are

   birdsong  n.  the musical cry of a bird or birds.

             adj.  Physics having two different refractive indices.
             ЬЬbirefringence n.

   bireme    n.  hist.  an ancient Greek warship, with two files of oarsmen
             on each side.  [L biremis (as BI-, remus oar)]

   biretta   n.  a square usu. black cap with three flat projections on top,
             worn by (esp. Roman Catholic) clergymen.  [It.  berretta or Sp.
             birreta f. LL birrus cape]

   biriani   n.  (also biryani) an orig. Indian dish made with highly
             seasoned rice, and meat or fish etc.  [Urdu]

   Biro      n.  (pl.  -os) Brit.  propr.  a kind of ball-point pen.  [L.
             Birў, Hung. inventor d. 1985]

   birth     n. & v.  --n.  1 the emergence of a (usu. fully developed)
             infant or other young from the body of its mother.  2 rhet. the
             beginning or coming into existence of something (the birth of
             civilization; the birth of socialism).  3 a origin, descent,
             ancestry (of noble birth).  b high or noble birth; inherited
             position.  --v.tr.  US colloq.  1 to give birth to.  2 to assist
             (a woman) to give birth.  Ьbirth certificate an official
             document identifying a person by name, place, date of birth, and
             parentage.  birth control the control of the number of children
             one conceives, esp. by contraception.  birth pill the
             contraceptive pill.  birth rate the number of live births per
             thousand of population per year.  give birth bear a child etc.
             give birth to 1 produce (young) from the womb.  2 cause to
             begin, found.  [ME f. ON byrth f. Gmc: see BEAR(1), -TH(2)]

   birthday  n.  1 the day on which a person etc. was born.  2 the
             anniversary of this.  Ьbirthday honours Brit.  titles etc. given
             on a sovereign's official birthday.  in one's birthday suit joc.

   birthmark n.  an unusual brown or red mark on one's body at or from birth.

             n.  the place where a person was born.

             n.  a right of possession or privilege one has from birth, esp.
             as the eldest son.

             n.  a gemstone popularly associated with the month of one's

   biryani   var. of BIRIANI.

   biscuit   n. & adj.  --n.  1 Brit. a small unleavened cake, usu. flat and
             crisp and often sweet.  2 fired unglazed pottery.  3 a light
             brown colour.  --adj. biscuit-coloured.  [ME f. OF bescoit etc.
             ult. f. L bis twice + coctus past part. of coquere cook]

   bise      n.  a keen dry northerly wind in Switzerland, S. France, etc.
             [ME f. OF]

   bisect    v.tr.  divide into two (strictly, equal) parts.  ЬЬbisection n.
             bisector n.  [BI- + L secare sect- cut]

   bisexual  adj. & n.  --adj.  1 sexually attracted by persons of both
             sexes.  2 Biol. having characteristics of both sexes.  3 of or
             concerning both sexes.  --n. a bisexual person.  ЬЬbisexuality

   bish      n.  sl.  a mistake.  [20th c.: orig. uncert.]

   bishop    n.  1 a senior member of the Christian clergy usu. in charge of
             a diocese, and empowered to confer holy orders.  2 a chess piece
             with the top sometimes shaped like a mitre.  3 mulled and spiced
             wine.  [OE biscop, ult. f. Gk episkopos overseer (as EPI-,
             -skopos -looking)]

   bishopric n.  1 the office of a bishop.  2 a diocese.  [OE bisceoprice (as
             BISHOP, rice realm)]

   bismuth   n.  Chem.  1 a brittle reddish-white metallic element, occurring
             naturally and used in alloys.  °Symb.: Bi.  2 any compound of
             this element used medicinally.  [mod.L bisemutum, Latinization
             of G Wismut, of unkn. orig.]

   bison     n.  (pl. same) either of two wild hump-backed shaggy-haired oxen
             of the genus Bison, native to N. America (B. bison) or Europe
             (B. bonasus).  [ME f. L f. Gmc]

   bisque(1) n.  a rich shellfish soup, made esp. from lobster.  [F]

   bisque(2) n.  Tennis, Croquet, & Golf an advantage of scoring one free
             point, or taking an extra turn or stroke.  [F]

   bisque(3) n.  = BISCUIT 2.

   bistable  adj.  (of an electrical circuit etc.) having two stable states.

   bister    var. of BISTRE.

   bistort   n.  a herb, Polygonum bistorta, with a twisted root and a
             cylindrical spike of flesh-coloured flowers.  [F bistorte or
             med.L bistorta f.  bis twice + torta fem. past part. of torquere

   bistoury  n.  (pl.  -ies) a surgical scalpel.  [F bistouri, bistorie,
             orig. = dagger, of unkn. orig.]

   bistre    n. & adj.  (US bister) --n.  1 a brownish pigment made from the
             soot of burnt wood.  2 the brownish colour of this.  --adj. of
             this colour.  [F, of unkn. orig.]

   bistro    n.  (pl.  -os) a small restaurant.  [F]

             n.  (US bisulfate) Chem.  a salt or ester of sulphuric acid.

   bit(1)    n.  1 a small piece or quantity (a bit of cheese; give me
             another bit; that bit is too small).  2 (prec. by a) a a fair
             amount (sold quite a bit; needed a bit of persuading).  b
             colloq. somewhat (am a bit tired).  c (foll. by of) colloq.
             rather (a bit of an idiot).  d (foll. by of) colloq. only a
             little; a mere (a bit of a boy).  3 a short time or distance
             (wait a bit; move up a bit).  4 US sl. a unit of 12« cents (used
             only in even multiples).  Ьbit by bit gradually.  bit of all
             right sl.  a pleasing person or thing, esp. a woman.  bit of
             fluff (or skirt or stuff) see FLUFF, SKIRT, STUFF.  bit on the
             side sl.  an extramarital sexual relationship.  bit part a minor
             part in a play or a film.  bits and pieces (or bobs) an
             assortment of small items.  do one's bit colloq.  make a useful
             contribution to an effort or cause.  every bit as see EVERY.
             not a bit (or not a bit of it) not at all.  to bits into pieces.
             [OE bita f. Gmc, rel. to BITE]

   bit(2)    past of BITE.

   bit(3)    n. & v.  --n.  1 a metal mouthpiece on a bridle, used to control
             a horse.  2 a (usu. metal) tool or piece for boring or drilling.
             3 the cutting or gripping part of a plane, pincers, etc.  4 the
             part of a key that engages with the lock-lever.  5 the copper
             head of a soldering-iron.  --v.tr.  1 put a bit into the mouth
             of (a horse).  2 restrain.  Ьtake the bit between one's teeth 1
             take decisive personal action.  2 escape from control.  [OE bite
             f. Gmc, rel. to BITE]

   bit(4)    n.  Computing a unit of information expressed as a choice
             between two possibilities; a 0 or 1 in binary notation.  [BINARY
             + DIGIT]

   bitch     n. & v.  --n.  1 a female dog or other canine animal.  2 sl.
             offens. a malicious or spiteful woman.  3 sl. a very unpleasant
             or difficult thing or situation.  --v.  1 intr. (often foll. by
             about) a speak scathingly.  b complain.  2 tr. be spiteful or
             unfair to.  [OE bicce]

   bitchy    adj.  (bitchier, bitchiest) sl.  spiteful; bad-tempered.
             ЬЬbitchily adv.  bitchiness n.

   bite      v. & n.  --v.  (past bit; past part.  bitten) 1 tr. cut or
             puncture using the teeth.  2 tr. (foll. by off, away, etc.)
             detach with the teeth.  3 tr. (of an insect, snake, etc.) wound
             with a sting, fangs, etc.  4 intr. (of a wheel, screw, etc.)
             grip, penetrate.  5 intr. accept bait or an inducement.  6 intr.
             have a (desired) adverse effect.  7 tr. (in passive) a take in;
             swindle.  b (foll. by by, with, etc.) be infected by (enthusiasm
             etc.).  8 tr. (as bitten adj.) cause a glowing or smarting pain
             to (frostbitten).  9 intr. (foll. by at) snap at.  --n.  1 an
             act of biting.  2 a wound or sore made by biting.  3 a a
             mouthful of food.  b a snack or light meal.  4 the taking of
             bait by a fish.  5 pungency (esp. of flavour).  6 incisiveness,
             sharpness.  7 = OCCLUSION 3.  Ьbite back restrain (one's speech
             etc.) by or as if by biting the lips.  bite (or bite on) the
             bullet sl.  behave bravely or stoically.  bite the dust sl.  1
             die.  2 fail; break down.  bite the hand that feeds one hurt or
             offend a benefactor.  bite a person's head off colloq.  respond
             fiercely or angrily.  bite one's lip see LIP.  bite off more
             than one can chew take on a commitment one cannot fulfil.  once
             bitten twice shy an unpleasant experience induces caution.  put
             the bite on US sl.  borrow or extort money from.  what's biting
             you?  sl.  what is worrying you?  ЬЬbiter n.  [OE bitan f. Gmc]

   biting    adj.  1 stinging; intensely cold (a biting wind).  2 sharp;
             effective (biting wit; biting sarcasm).  ЬЬbitingly adv.

   bitten    past part. of BITE.

   bitter    adj. & n.  --adj.  1 having a sharp pungent taste; not sweet.  2
             a caused by or showing mental pain or resentment (bitter
             memories; bitter rejoinder).  b painful or difficult to accept
             (bitter disappointment).  3 a harsh; virulent (bitter
             animosity).  b piercingly cold.  --n.  1 Brit. beer strongly
             flavoured with hops and having a bitter taste.  2 (in pl.)
             liquor with a bitter flavour (esp. of wormwood) used as an
             additive in cocktails.  Ьbitter-apple = COLOCYNTH.  bitter
             orange = SEVILLE ORANGE.  bitter pill something unpleasant that
             has to be accepted.  bitter-sweet adj.  1 sweet with a bitter
             after-taste.  2 arousing pleasure tinged with pain or sorrow.
             --n.  1 a sweetness with a bitter after-taste.  b pleasure
             tinged with pain or sorrow.  2 = woody nightshade (see
             NIGHTSHADE).  to the bitter end to the very end in spite of
             difficulties.  ЬЬbitterly adv.  bitterness n.  [OE biter prob.
             f. Gmc: to the bitter end may be assoc. with a Naut. word bitter
             = 'last part of a cable': see BITTS]

             n.  a small brightly coloured freshwater fish, Rhodeus amarus,
             from Central Europe.  [BITTER + -LING(1)]

   bittern   n.  1 any of a group of wading birds of the heron family, esp.
             of the genus Botaurus with a distinctive booming call.  2 Chem.
             the liquid remaining after the crystallization of common salt
             from sea water.  [ME f. OF butor ult. f. L butio bittern +
             taurus bull; - n perh. f. assoc. with HERON]

   bitts     n.pl.  Naut.  a pair of posts on the deck of a ship, for
             fastening cables etc.  [ME prob. f. LG: cf. LG & Du.  beting]

   bitty     adj.  (bittier, bittiest) made up of unrelated bits; scrappy.
             ЬЬbittily adv.  bittiness n.

   bitumen   n.  1 any of various tarlike mixtures of hydrocarbons derived
             from petroleum naturally or by distillation and used for road
             surfacing and roofing.  2 Austral.  colloq. a tarred road.  [L
             bitumen -minis]

             v.tr.  (also -ise) convert into, impregnate with, or cover with
             bitumen.  ЬЬbituminization n.

             adj.  of, relating to, or containing bitumen.  Ьbituminous coal
             a form of coal burning with a smoky flame.

   bivalent  adj. & n.  --adj.  1 Chem. having a valency of two.  2 Biol. (of
             homologous chromosomes) associated in pairs.  --n.  Biol. any
             pair of homologous chromosomes.  ЬЬbivalency n.  [BI- + valent-
             pres. part. stem formed as VALENCE(1)]

   bivalve   n. & adj.  --n. any of a group of aquatic molluscs of the class
             Bivalvia, with laterally compressed bodies enclosed within two
             hinged shells, e.g.  oysters, mussels, etc.  --adj.  1 with a
             hinged double shell.  2 Biol. having two valves, e.g. of a

   bivouac   n. & v.  --n. a temporary open encampment without tents, esp. of
             soldiers.  --v.intr.  (bivouacked, bivouacking) camp in a
             bivouac, esp. overnight.  [F, prob. f. Swiss G Beiwacht
             additional guard at night]

   biweekly  adv., adj., & n.  --adv.  1 every two weeks.  2 twice a week.
             --adj. produced or occurring biweekly.  --n.  (pl.  -ies) a
             biweekly periodical.  °See the note at bimonthly.

   biyearly  adv. & adj.  --adv.  1 every two years.  2 twice a year.  --adj.
             produced or occurring biyearly.  °See the note at bimonthly.

   biz       n.  colloq.  business.  [abbr.]

   bizarre   adj.  strange in appearance or effect; eccentric; grotesque.
             ЬЬbizarrely adv.  bizarreness n.  [F, = handsome, brave, f. Sp.
             & Port.  bizarro f. Basque bizarra beard]

             n.  a bizarre quality; bizarreness.  [F]

10.0 Bk...

   Bk        symb.  Chem.  the element berkelium.

   bk.       abbr.  book.

11.0 BL...

   BL        abbr.  1 Sc. & Ir. Bachelor of Law.  2 British Library.  3 hist.
             British Leyland.  4 bill of lading.

   bl.       abbr.  1 barrel.  2 black.

   blab      v. & n.  --v.  (blabbed, blabbing) 1 intr.  a talk foolishly or
             indiscreetly.  b reveal secrets.  2 tr. reveal (a secret etc.)
             by indiscreet talk.  --n. a person who blabs.  [ME prob. f. Gmc]

   blabber   n. & v.  --n.  (also blabbermouth) a person who blabs.
             --v.intr. (often foll. by on) talk foolishly or
             inconsequentially, esp. at length.

   black     adj., n., & v.  --adj.  1 very dark, having no colour from the
             absorption of all or nearly all incident light (like coal or
             soot).  2 completely dark from the absence of a source of light
             (black night).  3 (Black) a of the human group having
             dark-coloured skin, esp. of African or Aboriginal descent.  b of
             or relating to Black people (Black rights).  4 (of the sky, a
             cloud, etc.) dusky; heavily overcast.  5 angry, threatening (a
             black look).  6 implying disgrace or condemnation (in his black
             books).  7 wicked, sinister, deadly (black-hearted).  8 gloomy,
             depressed, sullen (a black mood).  9 portending trouble or
             difficulty (things looked black).  10 (of hands, clothes, etc.)
             dirty, soiled.  11 (of humour or its representation) with
             sinister or macabre, as well as comic, import (black comedy).
             12 (of tea or coffee) without milk.  13 Brit.  a (of industrial
             labour or its products) boycotted, esp. by a trade union, in an
             industrial dispute.  b (of a person) doing work or handling
             goods that have been boycotted.  14 dark in colour as
             distinguished from a lighter variety (black bear; black pine).
             --n.  1 a black colour or pigment.  2 black clothes or material
             (dressed in black).  3 a (in a game or sport) a black piece,
             ball, etc.  b the player using such pieces.  4 the credit side
             of an account (in the black).  5 (Black) a member of a
             dark-skinned race, esp. a Negro or Aboriginal.  --v.tr.  1 make
             black (blacked his face).  2 polish with blacking.  3 Brit.
             declare (goods etc.) 'black'.  ЬBlack Africa the area of Africa,
             generally south of the Sahara, where Blacks predominate.  black
             and blue discoloured by bruises.  Black and Tans an armed force
             recruited to fight Sinn Fein in Ireland in 1921, wearing a
             mixture of military and constabulary uniforms.  black and white
             1 recorded in writing or print (down in black and white).  2 (of
             film etc.) not in colour.  3 consisting of extremes only,
             oversimplified (interpreted the problem in black and white
             terms).  the black art = black magic.  black beetle the common
             cockroach, Blatta orientalis.  black belt 1 a black belt worn by
             an expert in judo, karate, etc.  2 a person qualified to wear
             this.  black body Physics a hypothetical perfect absorber and
             radiator of energy, with no reflecting power.  black box 1 a
             flight-recorder in an aircraft.  2 any complex piece of
             equipment, usu. a unit in an electronic system, with contents
             which are mysterious to the user.  black bread a coarse
             dark-coloured type of rye bread.  black bryony a rooted climber,
             Tamus communis, with clusters of red berries.  Black Country
             (usu. prec. by the) a district of the Midlands with heavy
             industry.  black damp = choke-damp.  Black Death (usu. prec. by
             the) a widespread epidemic of bubonic plague in Europe in the
             14th c.  black diamond (in pl.) coal.  black disc a long-playing
             gramophone record, as distinct from a compact disc.  black earth
             = CHERNOZEM.  black economy unofficial economic activity.  Black
             English the form of English spoken by many Blacks, esp. as an
             urban dialect of the US.  black eye bruised skin around the eye
             resulting from a blow.  black-eyed (or black-eye) bean a variety
             of bean, Vigna sinensis, with seeds often dried and stored prior
             to eating (so called from its black hilum).  black-eyed Susan
             any of several flowers, esp. of the genus Rudbeckia, with
             yellow-coloured petals and a dark centre.  black-face 1 a
             variety of sheep with a black face.  2 the make-up used by a
             non-Black performer playing a Negro role.  black flag see
             FLAG(1).  black forest gateau a chocolate sponge with layers of
             morello cherries or cherry jam and whipped cream and topped with
             chocolate icing, orig. from S. Germany.  Black Friar a Dominican
             friar.  black frost see FROST.  black game (or grouse) a
             European grouse, Lyrurus tetrix.  black hole 1 a region of space
             possessing a strong gravitational field from which matter and
             radiation cannot escape: also called COLLAPSAR.  2 a place of
             confinement for punishment, esp. in the armed services.  black
             ice thin hard transparent ice, esp. on a road surface.  black in
             the face livid with strangulation, exertion, or passion.  black
             lead graphite.  black leopard = PANTHER.  black letter an old
             heavy style of type.  black light Physics the invisible
             ultraviolet or infrared radiations of the electromagnetic
             spectrum.  black magic magic involving supposed invocation of
             evil spirits.  Black Maria sl.  a police vehicle for
             transporting prisoners.  black mark a mark of discredit.  black
             market an illicit traffic in officially controlled or scarce
             commodities.  black marketeer a person who engages in a black
             market.  Black Mass a travesty of the Roman Catholic Mass in
             worship of Satan.  Black Monk a Benedictine monk.  Black Muslim
             US a member of an exclusively Black Islamic sect proposing a
             separate Black community.  Black Nationalism advocacy of the
             national civil rights of US (and occas. other) Blacks.  black
             nightshade see NIGHTSHADE.  black out 1 a effect a blackout on.
             b undergo a blackout.  2 obscure windows etc. or extinguish all
             lights for protection esp. against an air attack.  Black Panther
             US one of a group of extremist fighters for Blacks' rights.
             black pepper pepper made by grinding the whole dried berry,
             including the husk, of the pepper plant.  Black Power a movement
             in support of rights and political power for Blacks.  black
             pudding a black sausage containing pork, dried pig's blood,
             suet, etc.  Black Rod Brit.  the principal usher of the Lord
             Chamberlain's department, House of Lords, etc.  black sheep
             colloq.  an unsatisfactory member of a family, group, etc.; a
             scoundrel.  black spot a place of danger or difficulty, esp. on
             a road (an accident black spot).  black swan 1 something
             extremely rare.  2 an Australian swan, Cygnus atratus, with
             black plumage.  black tea tea that is fully fermented before
             drying.  black tie 1 a black bow-tie worn with a dinner jacket.
             2 colloq. formal evening dress.  black tracker Austral.  an
             Aboriginal employed to help find persons lost or hiding in the
             bush.  black velvet a drink of stout and champagne.  Black Watch
             (usu. prec. by the) the Royal Highland Regiment (so called from
             its dark tartan uniform).  black-water fever a complication of
             malaria, in which blood cells are rapidly destroyed, resulting
             in dark urine.  black widow a venomous spider, Latrodectus
             mactans, of which the female devours the male.  ЬЬblackish adj.
             blackly adv.  blackness n.  [OE bl‘c]

             n.  archaic a dark-skinned person, esp. a Negro.  [BLACK +

   blackball v.tr.  reject (a candidate) in a ballot (orig. by voting with a
             black ball).

             n. & v.  --n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 a climbing thorny rosaceous shrub,
             Rubus fruticosus, bearing white or pink flowers. Also called
             BRAMBLE.  2 a black fleshy edible fruit of this plant.
             --v.intr.  (-ies, -ied) gather blackberries.

   blackbird n.  1 a common thrush, Turdus merula, of which the male is black
             with an orange beak.  2 US any of various birds, esp. a grackle,
             with black plumage.  3 hist. a kidnapped Negro or Polynesian on
             a slave-ship.

             n.  a board with a smooth usu. dark surface for writing on with

   blackboy  n.  any tree of the genus Xanthorrhea, native to Australia, with
             a thick dark trunk and a head of grasslike leaves. Also called
             grass tree.

   blackbuck n.  a small Indian gazelle, Antilope cervicapra, with a black
             back and white underbelly. Also called SASIN.

   blackcap  n.  a small warbler, Sylvia atricapilla, the male of which has a
             black-topped head.

   blackcock n.  the male of the black grouse (cf.  grey-hen).

             n.  1 a widely cultivated shrub, Ribes nigrum, bearing flowers
             in racemes.  2 the small dark edible berry of this plant.

   blacken   v.  1 tr. & intr. make or become black or dark.  2 tr. speak
             evil of, defame (blacken someone's character).

             n.  hist.  an Australian Aboriginal.

   blackfish n.  1 any of several species of dark-coloured fish.  2 a salmon
             at spawning.

   blackfly  n.  (pl.  -flies) any of various thrips or aphids, esp.  Aphis
             fabae, infesting plants.

             n. & v.  --n. a villain; a scoundrel; an unscrupulous,
             unprincipled person.  --v.tr. abuse scurrilously.
             ЬЬblackguardly adj.  [BLACK + GUARD: orig. applied collectively
             to menials etc.]

   blackhead n.  a black-topped pimple on the skin.

   blacking  n.  any black paste or polish, esp. for shoes.

             n.  1 the card-game pontoon.  2 US a flexible leaded bludgeon.
             [BLACK + JACK(1)]

             n.  a pirates' black flag.  [BLACK + JACK(1)]

             n.  a tarred-leather vessel for alcoholic liquor.  [BLACK +

   blacklead n. & v.  --n. graphite.  --v.tr. polish with graphite.

   blackleg  n. & v.  --n. (often attrib.) Brit.  derog. a person who fails
             or declines to take part in industrial action.  --v.intr.
             (-legged, -legging) act as a blackleg.

   blacklist n. & v.  --n. a list of persons under suspicion, in disfavour,
             etc.  --v.tr. put the name of (a person) on a blacklist.

   blackmail n. & v.  --n.  1 a an extortion of payment in return for not
             disclosing discreditable information, a secret, etc.  b any
             payment extorted in this way.  2 the use of threats or moral
             pressure.  --v.tr.  1 extort or try to extort money etc. from (a
             person) by blackmail.  2 threaten, coerce.  ЬЬblackmailer n.
             [BLACK + obs.  mail rent, OE mal f. ON m l agreement]

   blackout  n.  1 a temporary or complete loss of vision, consciousness, or
             memory.  2 a loss of power, radio reception, etc.  3 a
             compulsory period of darkness as a precaution against air raids.
             4 a temporary suppression of the release of information, esp.
             from police or government sources.  5 a sudden darkening of a
             theatre stage.

             n.  a member of a Fascist organization.  [f. the colour of the
             It. Fascist uniform]

             n.  a smith who works in iron.

             n.  1 a thorny rosaceous shrub, Prunus spinosa, bearing
             white-petalled flowers before small blue-black fruits.  Also
             called SLOE.  2 a cudgel or walking-stick made from its wood.
             Ьblackthorn winter the time when the plant flowers, usu. marked
             by cold NE winds.

   blacktop  n.  US a type of road-surfacing material.

   bladder   n.  1 a any of various membranous sacs in some animals,
             containing urine (urinary bladder), bile (gall-bladder), or air
             (swim-bladder).  b this or part of it or a similar object
             prepared for various uses.  2 an inflated pericarp or vesicle in
             various plants.  3 anything inflated and hollow.  [OE bl‘dre f.

             n.  any insect-consuming aquatic plant of the genus Utricularia,
             with leaves having small bladders for trapping insects.

             n.  a common brown seaweed, Fucus vesiculosus, with fronds
             containing air-bladders which give buoyancy to the plant.

   blade     n.  1 a the flat part of a knife, chisel, etc., that forms the
             cutting edge.  b = razor-blade.  2 the flattened functional part
             of an oar, spade, propeller, bat, skate, etc.  3 a the flat,
             narrow, usu. pointed leaf of grass and cereals.  b the whole of
             such plants before the ear is formed (in the blade).  c Bot. the
             broad thin part of a leaf apart from the petiole.  4 (in full
             blade-bone) a flat bone, e.g. in the shoulder.  5 Archaeol. a
             long narrow flake (see FLAKE(1) 3).  6 poet. a sword.  7 colloq.
             (usu.  archaic) a carefree young fellow.  ЬЬbladed adj. (also in
             comb.).  [OE bl‘d f. Gmc]

   blaeberry n.  (pl.  -ies) Brit.  = BILBERRY.  [ME f.  blae (Sc. and
             N.Engl. dial. f. ME blo f. ON bl r f. Gmc: see BLUE(1)) + BERRY]

   blag      n. & v.  sl.  --n. robbery, esp. with violence; theft.  --v.tr.
             & intr.  (blagged, blagging) rob (esp. with violence); steal.
             ЬЬblagger n.  [19th c.: orig. unkn.]

   blague    n.  humbug, claptrap.  [F]

   blagueur  n.  a pretentious talker.  [F]

   blah      n.  (also blah-blah) colloq.  pretentious nonsense.  [imit.]

   blain     n.  an inflamed swelling or sore on the skin.  [OE blegen f. WG]

   blakey    n. (also Blakey) (pl.  -eys) a metal cap on the heel or toe of a
             shoe or boot.  [Blakey, name of the manufacturer]

   blame     v. & n.  --v.tr.  1 assign fault or responsibility to.  2 (foll.
             by on) assign the responsibility for (an error or wrong) to a
             person etc. (blamed his death on a poor diet).  --n.  1
             responsibility for a bad result; culpability (shared the blame
             equally; put the blame on the bad weather).  2 the act of
             blaming or attributing responsibility; censure (she got all the
             blame).  Ьbe to blame (often foll. by for) be responsible;
             deserve censure (she is not to blame for the accident).  have
             only oneself to blame be solely responsible (for something one
             suffers).  I don't blame you etc. I think your etc. action was
             justifiable.  ЬЬblameable adj.  [ME f. OF bla(s)mer (v.), blame
             (n.) f. pop.L blastemare f. eccl.L blasphemare reproach f. Gk
             blasphemeo blaspheme]

   blameful  adj.  deserving blame; guilty.  ЬЬblamefully adv.

   blameless adj.  innocent; free from blame.  ЬЬblamelessly adv.
             blamelessness n.

             adj.  deserving blame.  ЬЬblameworthiness n.

   blanch    v.  1 tr. make white or pale by extracting colour.  2 intr. &
             tr. grow or make pale from shock, fear, etc.  3 tr.  Cookery a
             peel (almonds etc.) by scalding.  b immerse (vegetables or meat)
             briefly in boiling water.  4 tr. whiten (a plant) by depriving
             it of light.  Ьblanch over give a deceptively good impression of
             (a fault etc.) by misrepresentation.  [ME f. OF blanchir f.
             blanc white, BLANK]

             n.  a sweet opaque gelatinous dessert made with flavoured
             cornflour and milk.  [ME f. OF blancmanger f.  blanc white,
             BLANK + manger eat f. L manducare MANDUCATE]

   blanco    n. & v.  Mil.  --n.  1 a white substance for whitening belts
             etc.  2 a similar coloured substance.  --v.tr.  (-oes, -oed)
             treat with blanco.  [F blanc white, BLANK]

   bland     adj.  1 a mild, not irritating.  b tasteless, unstimulating,
             insipid.  2 gentle in manner; suave.  ЬЬblandly adv.  blandness
             n.  [L blandus soft, smooth]

   blandish  v.tr.  flatter; coax, cajole.  [ME f. OF blandir (-ISH(2)) f. L
             blandiri f.  blandus soft, smooth]

             n.  (usu. in pl.) flattery; cajolery.

   blank     adj., n., & v.  --adj.  1 a (of paper) not written or printed
             on.  b (of a document) with spaces left for a signature or
             details.  2 a not filled; empty (a blank space).  b unrelieved;
             sheer (a blank wall).  3 a having or showing no interest or
             expression (a blank face).  b void of incident or result.  c
             puzzled, nonplussed.  d having (temporarily) no knowledge or
             understanding (my mind went blank).  4 (with neg. import)
             complete, downright (a blank refusal; blank despair).  5 euphem.
             used in place of an adjective regarded as coarse or abusive.
             --n.  1 a a space left to be filled in a document.  b a document
             having blank spaces to be filled.  2 (in full blank cartridge) a
             cartridge containing gunpowder but no bullet, used for training,
             etc.  3 an empty space or period of time.  4 a a coin-disc
             before stamping.  b a metal or wooden block before final
             shaping.  5 a a dash written instead of a word or letter, esp.
             instead of an obscenity.  b euphem. used in place of a noun
             regarded as coarse.  6 a domino with one or both halves blank.
             7 a lottery ticket that gains no prize.  8 the white centre of
             the target in archery etc.  --v.tr.  1 (usu. foll. by off, out)
             screen, obscure (clouds blanked out the sun).  2 (usu. foll. by
             out) cut (a metal blank).  3 US defeat without allowing to
             score.  Ьblank cheque 1 a cheque with the amount left for the
             payee to fill in.  2 colloq. unlimited freedom of action (cf.
             CARTE BLANCHE).  blank test Chem.  a scientific test done
             without a specimen, to verify the absence of the effects of
             reagents etc.  blank verse unrhymed verse, esp. iambic
             pentameters.  draw a blank elicit no response; fail.  ЬЬblankly
             adv.  blankness n.  [ME f. OF blanc white, ult. f. Gmc]

   blanket   n., adj., & v.  --n.  1 a large piece of woollen or other
             material used esp. as a bed-covering or to wrap up a person or
             an animal for warmth.  2 (usu. foll. by of) a thick mass or
             layer that covers something (blanket of fog; blanket of
             silence).  3 Printing a rubber surface transferring an
             impression from a plate to paper etc. in offset printing.
             --adj. covering all cases or classes; inclusive (blanket
             condemnation; blanket agreement).  --v.tr.  (blanketed,
             blanketing) 1 cover with or as if with a blanket (snow blanketed
             the land).  2 stifle; keep quiet (blanketed all discussion).  3
             Naut. take wind from the sails of (another craft) by passing to
             windward.  Ьblanket bath a body wash given to a bedridden
             patient.  blanket stitch a stitch used to neaten the edges of a
             blanket or other material.  born on the wrong side of the
             blanket illegitimate.  electric blanket an electrically-wired
             blanket used for heating a bed.  wet blanket colloq.  a gloomy
             person preventing the enjoyment of others.  [ME f. OF blancquet,
             blanchet f.  blanc white, BLANK]

   blankety  adj. & n.  (also blanky) Brit.  colloq.  = BLANK adj.  5.

   blanky    var. of BLANKETY.

             n.  Cookery a dish consisting of white meat, e.g. veal, in a
             white sauce.  [F (as BLANKET)]

   blare     v. & n.  --v.  1 tr. & intr. sound or utter loudly.  2 intr.
             make the sound of a trumpet.  --n. a loud sound resembling that
             of a trumpet.  [ME f. MDu.  blaren, bleren, imit.]

   blarney   n. & v.  --n.  1 cajoling talk; flattery.  2 nonsense.  --v.
             (-eys, -eyed) 1 tr. flatter (a person) with blarney.  2 intr.
             talk flatteringly.  [Blarney, an Irish castle near Cork with a
             stone said to confer a cajoling tongue on whoever kisses it]

   blas‚     adj.  1 unimpressed or indifferent because of over-familiarity.
             2 tired of pleasure; surfeited.  [F]

   blaspheme v.  1 intr. talk profanely, making use of religious names, etc.
             2 tr. talk profanely about; revile.  ЬЬblasphemer n.  [ME f. OF
             blasfemer f. eccl.L blasphemare f. Gk blasphemeo: cf.  BLAME]

   blasphemy n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 profane talk.  2 an instance of this.
             ЬЬblasphemous adj.  blasphemously adv.  [ME f. OF blasfemie f.
             eccl.L f. Gk blasphemia slander, blasphemy]

   blast     n., v., & int.  --n.  1 a strong gust of wind.  2 a a
             destructive wave of highly compressed air spreading outwards
             from an explosion.  b such an explosion.  3 the single loud note
             of a wind instrument, car horn, whistle, etc.  4 colloq. a
             severe reprimand.  5 a strong current of air used in smelting
             etc.  --v.  1 tr. blow up (rocks etc.) with explosives.  2 tr.
             a wither, shrivel, or blight (a plant, animal, limb, etc.)
             (blasted oak).  b destroy, ruin (blasted her hopes).  c strike
             with divine anger; curse.  3 intr. & tr. make or cause to make a
             loud or explosive noise (blasted away on his trumpet).  4 tr.
             colloq. reprimand severely.  5 colloq.  a tr. shoot; shoot at.
             b intr. shoot.  --int. expressing annoyance.  Ьat full blast
             colloq.  working at maximum speed etc.  blast-furnace a smelting
             furnace into which compressed hot air is driven.  blast-hole a
             hole containing an explosive charge for blasting.  blast off (of
             a rocket etc.) take off from a launching site.  blast-off n.  1
             the launching of a rocket etc.  2 the initial thrust for this.
             [OE bl‘st f. Gmc]

   -blast    comb. form Biol.  1 an embryonic cell (erythroblast) (cf.
             -CYTE).  2 a germ layer of an embryo (epiblast).  [Gk blastos

   blasted   adj. & adv.  --attrib.adj. damned; annoying (that blasted dog!).
             --adv.  colloq. damned; extremely (it's blasted cold).

   blaster   n.  1 in senses of BLAST v.  2 Golf a heavy lofted club for
             playing from a bunker.

   blastula  n.  (pl.  blastulae or US blastulas) Biol.  an animal embryo at
             an early stage of development when it is a hollow ball of cells.
             [mod.L f. Gk blastos sprout]

   blatant   adj.  1 flagrant, unashamed (blatant attempt to steal).  2
             offensively noisy or obtrusive.  ЬЬblatancy n.  blatantly adv.
             [a word used by Spenser (1596), perh. after Sc.  blatand =

   blather   n. & v.  (also blether) --n. foolish chatter.  --v.intr. chatter
             foolishly.  [ME blather, Sc.  blether, f. ON blathra talk
             nonsense f.  blathr nonsense]

             (also bletherskate) n.  1 a person who blathers.  2 = BLATHER n.
             [BLATHER + skite, corrupt. of derog. use of SKATE(2)]

   blaze(1)  n. & v.  --n.  1 a bright flame or fire.  2 a a bright glaring
             light; the sun set in a blaze of orange.  b a full light (a
             blaze of publicity).  3 a violent outburst (of passion etc.) (a
             blaze of patriotic fervour).  4 a a glow of colour (roses were a
             blaze of scarlet).  b a bright display (a blaze of glory).
             --v.intr.  1 burn with a bright flame.  2 be brilliantly
             lighted.  3 be consumed with anger, excitement, etc.  4 a show
             bright colours (blazing with jewels).  b emit light (stars
             blazing).  Ьblaze away (often foll. by at) 1 fire continuously
             with rifles etc.  2 work enthusiastically.  blaze up 1 burst
             into flame.  2 burst out in anger.  like blazes sl.  1 with
             great energy.  2 very fast.  what the blazes!  sl.  what the
             hell!  ЬЬblazingly adv.  [OE bl‘se torch, f. Gmc: ult. rel. to

   blaze(2)  n. & v.  --n.  1 a white mark on an animal's face.  2 a mark
             made on a tree by slashing the bark esp. to mark a route.
             --v.tr. mark (a tree or a path) by chipping bark.  Ьblaze a
             trail 1 mark out a path or route.  2 be the first to do, invent,
             or study something; pioneer.  [17th c.: ult. rel. to BLAZE(1)]

   blaze(3)  v.tr.  proclaim as with a trumpet.  Ьblaze abroad spread (news)
             about.  [ME f. LG or Du.  blazen blow, f. Gmc bl‘san]

   blazer    n.  1 a coloured, often striped, summer jacket worn by
             schoolchildren, sportsmen, etc., esp. as part of a uniform.  2 a
             man's plain jacket, often dark blue, not worn with matching
             trousers.  [BLAZE(1) + -ER(1)]

   blazon    v. & n.  --v.tr.  1 proclaim (esp. blazon abroad).  2 Heraldry a
             describe or paint (arms).  b inscribe or paint (an object) with
             arms, names, etc.  --n.  1 Heraldry a a shield, coat of arms,
             bearings, or a banner.  b a correct description of these.  2 a
             record or description, esp. of virtues, etc.  ЬЬblazoner n.
             blazonment n.  [ME f. OF blason shield, of unkn. orig.; verb
             also f.  BLAZE(3)]

   blazonry  n.  Heraldry 1 a the art of describing or painting heraldic
             devices or armorial bearings.  b such devices or bearings.  2
             brightly coloured display.

   bleach    v. & n.  --v.tr. & intr. whiten by exposure to sunlight or by a
             chemical process.  --n.  1 a bleaching substance.  2 the process
             of bleaching.  Ьbleaching-powder calcium hypochlorite used esp.
             to remove colour from materials.  [OE bl‘can f. Gmc]

   bleacher  n.  1 a a person who bleaches (esp. textiles).  b a vessel or
             chemical used in bleaching.  2 (usu. in pl.) esp.  US an outdoor
             uncovered bench-seat at a sports ground, arranged in tiers and
             very cheap.

   bleak(1)  adj.  1 bare, exposed; windswept.  2 unpromising; dreary (bleak
             prospects).  ЬЬbleakly adv.  bleakness n.  [16th c.: rel. to
             obs. adjs.  bleach, blake (f. ON bleikr) pale, ult. f. Gmc: cf.

   bleak(2)  n.  any of various species of small river-fish, esp.  Alburnus
             alburnus.  [ME prob. f. ON bleikja, OHG bleicha f. Gmc]

   blear     adj. & v.  archaic --adj.  1 (of the eyes or the mind) dim,
             dull, filmy.  2 indistinct.  --v.tr. make dim or obscure; blur.
             [ME, of uncert. orig.]

   bleary    adj.  (blearier, bleariest) 1 (of the eyes or mind) dim;
             blurred.  2 indistinct.  Ьbleary-eyed having dim sight or wits.
             ЬЬblearily adv.  bleariness n.

   bleat     v. & n.  --v.  1 intr. (of a sheep, goat, or calf) make a weak,
             wavering cry.  2 intr. & tr. (often foll. by out) speak or say
             feebly, foolishly, or plaintively.  --n.  1 the sound made by a
             sheep, goat, etc.  2 a weak, plaintive, or foolish cry.
             ЬЬbleater n.  bleatingly adv.  [OE bl‘tan (imit.)]

   bleb      n.  1 esp. Med. a small blister on the skin.  2 a small bubble
             in glass or on water.  [var. of BLOB]

   bleed     v. & n.  --v.  (past and past part.  bled) 1 intr. emit blood.
             2 tr. draw blood from surgically.  3 a tr. extort money from.  b
             intr. part with money lavishly; suffer extortion.  4 intr.
             (often foll. by for) suffer wounds or violent death (bled for
             the Revolution).  5 intr.  a (of a plant) emit sap.  b (of dye)
             come out in water.  6 tr.  a allow (fluid or gas) to escape from
             a closed system through a valve etc.  b treat (such a system) in
             this way.  7 Printing a intr. (of a printed area) be cut into
             when pages are trimmed.  b tr. cut into the printed area of when
             trimming.  c tr. extend (an illustration) to the cut edge of a
             page.  --n. an act of bleeding (cf.  NOSEBLEED).  Ьone's heart
             bleeds usu.  iron.  one is very sorrowful.  [OE bledan f. Gmc]

   bleeder   n.  1 coarse sl. a person (esp. as a term of contempt or
             disrespect) (you bleeder; lucky bleeder).  2 colloq. a

   bleeding  adj. & adv.  Brit.  coarse sl.  expressing annoyance or
             antipathy (a bleeding nuisance).  Ьbleeding heart 1 colloq. a
             dangerously soft-hearted person.  2 any of various plants, esp.
             Dicentra spectabilis having heart-shaped crimson flowers hanging
             from an arched stem.

   bleep     n. & v.  --n. an intermittent high-pitched sound made
             electronically.  --v.intr. & tr. make or cause to make such a
             sound, esp. as a signal.  [imit.]

   bleeper   n.  a small portable electronic device which emits a bleep when
             the wearer is contacted.

   blemish   n. & v.  --n. a physical or moral defect; a stain; a flaw (not a
             blemish on his character).  --v.tr. spoil the beauty or
             perfection of; stain (spots blemished her complexion).  [ME f.
             OF ble(s)mir (-ISH(2)) make pale, prob. of Gmc orig.]

   blench    v.intr.  flinch; quail.  [ME f. OE blencan, ult. f. Gmc]

   blend     v. & n.  --v.  1 tr.  a mix (esp. sorts of tea, spirits,
             tobacco, etc.) together to produce a desired flavour etc.  b
             produce by this method (blended whisky).  2 intr. form a
             harmonious compound; become one.  3 a tr. & intr. (often foll.
             by with) mingle or be mingled (truth blended with lies; blends
             well with the locals).  b tr. (often foll. by in, with) mix
             thoroughly.  4 intr. (esp. of colours): a pass imperceptibly
             into each other.  b go well together; harmonize.  --n.  1 a a
             mixture, esp. of various sorts of tea, spirits, tobacco, fibre,
             etc.  b a combination (of different abstract or personal
             qualities).  2 a portmanteau word.  [ME prob. f. ON blanda mix]

   blende    n.  any naturally occurring metal sulphide, esp. zinc blende.
             [G f.  blenden deceive, so called because while often resembling
             galena it yielded no lead]

   blender   n.  1 a mixing machine used in food preparation for liquidizing,
             chopping, or pur‚eing.  2 a a thing that blends.  b a person who

   Blenheim  n.  1 a small spaniel of a red and white breed.  2 this breed.
             [the Duke of Marlborough's seat at Woodstock in S. England,
             named after his victory at Blenheim in Bavaria (1704)]

   Blenheim Orange
             n.  a golden-coloured apple which ripens late in the season.

   blenny    n.  (pl.  -ies) any of a family of small spiny-finned marine
             fish, esp. of the genus Blennius, having scaleless skins.  [L
             blennius f. Gk blennos mucus, with reference to its mucous

   blent     poet.  past and past part. of BLEND.

             n.  inflammation of the eyelids.  [Gk blepharon eyelid + -ITIS]

   blesbok   n.  (also blesbuck) a subspecies of bontebok, native to southern
             Africa, having small lyre-shaped horns.  [Afrik. f.  bles
             BLAZE(2), (from the white mark on its forehead) + bok goat]

   bless     v.tr.  (past and past part.  blessed, poet.  blest) 1 (of a
             priest etc.) pronounce words, esp. in a religious rite, asking
             for divine favour; ask God to look favourably on (bless this
             house).  2 a consecrate (esp. bread and wine).  b sanctify by
             the sign of the cross.  3 call (God) holy; adore.  4 attribute
             one's good fortune to (an auspicious time, one's fate, etc.);
             thank (bless the day I met her; bless my stars).  5 (usu. in
             passive; often foll. by with) make happy or successful (blessed
             with children; they were truly blessed).  6 euphem. curse; damn
             (bless the boy!).  Ь(God) bless me (or my soul) an exclamation
             of surprise, pleasure, indignation, etc.  (God) bless you!  1 an
             exclamation of endearment, gratitude, etc.  2 an exclamation
             made to a person who has just sneezed.  I'm (or well, I'm)
             blessed (or blest) an exclamation of surprise etc.  not have a
             penny to bless oneself with be impoverished.  [OE bloedsian,
             bledsian, bletsian, f.  blod blood (hence mark with blood,
             consecrate): meaning infl. by its use at the conversion of the
             English to translate L benedicare praise]

   blessed   adj.  (also poet.  blest) 1 a consecrated (Blessed Sacrament).
             b revered.  2 (usu. foll. by with) often iron. fortunate (in the
             possession of) (blessed with good health; blessed with
             children).  3 euphem. cursed; damned (blessed nuisance!).  4 a
             in paradise.  b RC Ch. a title given to a dead person as an
             acknowledgement of his or her holy life; beatified.  5 bringing
             happiness; blissful (blessed ignorance).  ЬЬblessedly adv.

             n.  1 happiness.  2 the enjoyment of divine favour.  Ьsingle
             blessedness joc.  the state of being unmarried (perversion of
             Shakesp.  Midsummer Night's Dream I. i. 78).

   blessing  n.  1 the act of declaring, seeking, or bestowing (esp. divine)
             favour (sought God's blessing; mother gave them her blessing).
             2 grace said before or after a meal.  3 a gift of God, nature,
             etc.; a thing one is glad of (what a blessing he brought it!).
             Ьblessing in disguise an apparent misfortune that eventually has
             good results.

   blest     poet.  var. of BLESSED.

   blether   var. of BLATHER.

             var. of BLATHERSKITE.

   blew      past of BLOW(1), BLOW(3).

   blewits   n.  any fungus of the genus Tricholoma, with edible
             lilac-stemmed mushrooms.  [prob. f BLUE(1)]

   blight    n. & v.  --n.  1 any plant disease caused by mildews, rusts,
             smuts, fungi, or insects.  2 any insect or parasite causing such
             a disease.  3 any obscure force which is harmful or destructive.
             4 an unsightly or neglected urban area.  --v.tr.  1 affect with
             blight.  2 harm, destroy.  3 spoil.  [17th c.: orig. unkn.]

   blighter  n.  Brit.  colloq.  a person (esp. as a term of contempt or
             disparagement).  [BLIGHT + -ER(1)]

   Blighty   n.  (pl.  -ies) sl.  (used by soldiers, esp. during the war of
             1914-18) England; home.  [Anglo-Ind. corrupt. of Hind.
             bilayati, wilayati foreign, European]

   blimey    int.  (also cor blimey) Brit.  coarse sl.  an expression of
             surprise, contempt, etc.  [corrupt. of (God) blind me!]

   blimp     n.  1 (also (Colonel) Blimp) a proponent of reactionary
             establishment opinions.  2 a a small non-rigid airship.  b a
             barrage balloon.  3 a soundproof cover for a cine-camera.
             ЬЬblimpery n.  blimpish adj.  [20th. c., of uncert. orig.: in
             sense 1, a pompous, obese, elderly character invented by
             cartoonist David Low (d. 1963), and used in anti-German or
             anti-Government drawings before and during the war of 1939-45]

   blind     adj., v., n., & adv.  --adj.  1 lacking the power of sight.  2 a
             without foresight, discernment, intellectual perception, or
             adequate information (blind effort).  b (often foll. by to)
             unwilling or unable to appreciate (a factor, circumstance, etc.)
             (blind to argument).  3 not governed by purpose or reason (blind
             forces).  4 reckless (blind hitting).  5 a concealed (blind
             ditch).  b (of a door, window, etc.) walled up.  c closed at one
             end.  6 Aeron. (of flying) without direct observation, using
             instruments only.  7 Cookery (of a flan case, pie base, etc.)
             baked without a filling.  8 sl. drunk.  --v.  1 tr. deprive of
             sight, permanently or temporarily (blinded by tears).  2 tr.
             (often foll. by to) rob of judgement; deceive (blinded them to
             the danger).  3 intr.  sl. go very fast and dangerously, esp. in
             a motor vehicle.  --n.  1 a a screen for a window, esp. on a
             roller, or with slats (roller blind; Venetian blind).  b an
             awning over a shop window.  2 a something designed or used to
             hide the truth; a pretext.  b a legitimate business concealing a
             criminal enterprise (he's a spy, and his job is just a blind).
             3 any obstruction to sight or light.  4 Brit.  sl. a heavy
             drinking-bout.  5 Cards a stake put up by a poker player before
             the cards dealt are seen.  6 US = HIDE(1) n.  --adv. blindly
             (fly blind; bake it blind).  Ьblind alley 1 a cul-de-sac.  2 a
             course of action leading nowhere.  blind as a bat completely
             blind.  blind coal coal burning without a flame.  blind corner a
             corner round which a motorist etc. cannot see.  blind date 1 a
             social engagement between a man and a woman who have not
             previously met.  2 either of the couple on a blind date.  blind
             drunk extremely drunk.  blind gut the caecum.  blind man's buff
             a game in which a blindfold player tries to catch others while
             being pushed about by them.  blind side a direction in which one
             cannot see the approach of danger etc.  blind spot 1 Anat. the
             point of entry of the optic nerve on the retina, insensitive to
             light.  2 an area in which a person lacks understanding or
             impartiality.  3 a point of unusually weak radio reception.
             blind stamping (or tooling) embossing a book cover without the
             use of colour or gold leaf.  blind-stitch n.  sewing visible on
             one side only.  --v.tr. & intr. sew with this stitch.  blind to
             incapable of appreciating.  blind with science overawe with a
             display of (often spurious) knowledge.  go it blind act
             recklessly or without proper consideration.  not a blind bit of
             (or not a blind) sl.  not the slightest; not a single (took not
             a blind bit of notice; not a blind word out of him).  turn a (or
             one's) blind eye to pretend not to notice.  ЬЬblindly adv.
             blindness n.  [OE f. Gmc]

   blinder   n.  colloq.  1 an excellent piece of play in a game.  2 (in pl.)
             US blinkers.

   blindfold v., n., adj., & adv.  --v.tr.  1 deprive (a person) of sight by
             covering the eyes, esp. with a tied cloth.  2 deprive of
             understanding; hoodwink.  --n.  1 a bandage or cloth used to
             blindfold.  2 any obstruction to understanding.  --adj. & adv.
             1 with eyes bandaged.  2 without care or circumspection (went
             into it blindfold).  3 Chess without sight of board and men.
             [replacing (by assoc. with FOLD(1)) ME blindfellen, past part.
             blindfelled (FELL(1)) strike blind]

   blinding  n.  1 the process of covering a newly made road etc. with grit
             to fill cracks.  2 such grit.

   blindworm n.  = SLOW-WORM.

   blink     v. & n.  --v.  1 intr. shut and open the eyes quickly and usu.
             involuntarily.  2 intr. (often foll. by at) look with eyes
             opening and shutting.  3 tr.  a (often foll. by back) prevent
             (tears) by blinking.  b (often foll. by away, from) clear (dust
             etc.) from the eyes by blinking.  4 tr. & (foll. by at) intr.
             shirk consideration of; ignore; condone.  5 intr.  a shine with
             an unsteady or intermittent light.  b cast a momentary gleam.  6
             tr. blink with (eyes).  --n.  1 an act of blinking.  2 a
             momentary gleam or glimpse.  3 = ICEBLINK.  Ьon the blink sl.
             out of order, esp. intermittently.  [partly var. of blenk =
             BLENCH, partly f. MDu.  blinken shine]

   blinker   n. & v.  --n.  1 (usu. in pl.) either of a pair of screens
             attached to a horse's bridle to prevent it from seeing sideways.
             2 a device that blinks, esp. a vehicle's indicator.  --v.tr.  1
             obscure with blinkers.  2 (as blinkered adj.) having narrow and
             prejudiced views.

   blinking  adj. & adv.  Brit.  sl.  an intensive, esp. expressing
             disapproval (a blinking idiot; a blinking awful time).  [BLINK +
             -ING(2) (euphem. for BLOODY)]

   blip      n. & v.  --n.  1 a quick popping sound, as of dripping water or
             an electronic device.  2 a small image of an object on a radar
             screen.  --v.  (blipped, blipping) 1 intr. make a blip.  2 tr.
             strike briskly.  [imit.]

   bliss     n.  1 a perfect joy or happiness.  b enjoyment; gladness.  2 a
             being in heaven.  b a state of blessedness.  [OE bliths, bliss
             f. Gmc blithsjo f.  blithiz BLITHE: sense infl. by BLESS]

   blissful  adj.  perfectly happy; joyful.  Ьblissful ignorance fortunate
             unawareness of something unpleasant.  ЬЬblissfully adv.
             blissfulness n.

   blister   n. & v.  --n.  1 a small bubble on the skin filled with serum
             and caused by friction, burning, etc.  2 a similar swelling on
             any other surface.  3 Med. anything applied to raise a blister.
             4 sl. an annoying person.  --v.  1 tr. raise a blister on.  2
             intr. come up in a blister or blisters.  3 tr. attack sharply
             (blistered them with his criticisms).  Ьblister copper copper
             which is almost pure.  blister gas a poison gas causing blisters
             on the skin.  blister pack a bubble pack.  ЬЬblistery adj.  [ME
             perh. f. OF blestre, blo(u)stre swelling, pimple]

   blithe    adj.  1 poet. gay, joyous.  2 careless, casual (with blithe
             indifference).  ЬЬblithely adv.  blitheness n.  blithesome adj.
             [OE blithe f. Gmc]

             adj.  colloq.  1 senselessly talkative.  2 a (attrib.) utter;
             hopeless (blithering idiot).  b contemptible.  [blither, var. of
             BLATHER + -ING(2)]

   B.Litt.   abbr.  Bachelor of Letters.  [L Baccalaureus Litterarum]

   blitz     n. & v.  colloq.  --n.  1 a an intensive or sudden (esp. aerial)
             attack.  b an energetic intensive attack, usu. on a specific
             task (must have a blitz on this room).  2 (the Blitz) the German
             air raids on London in 1940.  --v.tr. attack, damage, or destroy
             by a blitz.  [abbr. of BLITZKRIEG]

             n.  an intense military campaign intended to bring about a swift
             victory.  [G, = lightning war]

   blizzard  n.  a severe snowstorm with high winds.  [US 'violent blow'
             (1829), 'snowstorm' (1859), perh.  imit.]

   bloat     v.  1 tr. & intr. inflate, swell (wind bloated the sheets;
             bloated with gas).  2 tr. (as bloated adj.) a swollen, puffed.
             b puffed up with pride or excessive wealth (bloated plutocrat).
             3 tr. cure (a herring) by salting and smoking lightly.  [obs.
             bloat swollen, soft and wet, perh. f. ON blautr soaked, flabby]

   bloater   n.  a herring cured by bloating.

   blob      n.  1 a small roundish mass; a drop of matter.  2 a drop of
             liquid.  3 a spot of colour.  4 Cricket sl. a score of 0.
             [imit.: cf.  BLEB]

   bloc      n.  a combination of parties, governments, groups, etc. sharing
             a common purpose.  Ьbloc vote = block vote.  [F, = block]

   block     n., v., & adj.  --n.  1 a solid hewn or unhewn piece of hard
             material, esp. of rock, stone, or wood (block of ice).  2 a
             flat-topped block used as a base for chopping, beheading,
             standing something on, hammering on, or for mounting a horse
             from.  3 a a large building, esp. when subdivided (block of
             flats).  b a compact mass of buildings bounded by (usu. four)
             streets.  4 an obstruction; anything preventing progress or
             normal working (a block in the pipe).  5 a chock for stopping
             the motion of a wheel etc.  6 a pulley or system of pulleys
             mounted in a case.  7 (in pl.) any of a set of solid cubes etc.,
             used as a child's toy.  8 Printing a piece of wood or metal
             engraved for printing on paper or fabric.  9 a head-shaped mould
             used for shaping hats or wigs.  10 sl. the head (knock his block
             off).  11 US a the area between streets in a town or suburb.  b
             the length of such an area, esp. as a measure of distance (lives
             three blocks away).  12 a stolid, unimaginative, or hard-hearted
             person.  13 a large quantity or allocation of things treated as
             a unit, esp. shares, seats in a theatre, etc.  14 a set of
             sheets of paper used for writing, or esp. drawing, glued along
             one edge.  15 Cricket a spot on which a batsman blocks the ball
             before the wicket, and rests the bat before playing.  16
             Athletics = starting-block.  17 Amer. Football a blocking
             action.  18 Austral.  a a tract of land offered to an individual
             settler by a government.  b a large area of land.  --v.tr.  1 a
             (often foll. by up) obstruct (a passage etc.) (the road was
             blocked; you are blocking my view).  b put obstacles in the way
             of (progress etc.).  2 restrict the use or conversion of
             (currency or any other asset).  3 use a block for making (a hat,
             wig, etc.).  4 emboss or impress a design on (a book cover).  5
             Cricket stop (a ball) with a bat defensively.  6 Amer. Football
             intercept (an opponent) with one's body.  --attrib.adj. treating
             (many similar things) as one unit (block booking).  Ьblock and
             tackle a system of pulleys and ropes, esp. for lifting.  block
             capitals (or letters) letters printed without serifs, or written
             with each letter separate and in capitals.  block diagram a
             diagram showing the general arrangement of parts of an
             apparatus.  block in 1 sketch roughly; plan.  2 confine.  block
             mountain Geol.  a mountain formed by natural faults.  block out
             1 a shut out (light, noise, etc.).  b exclude from memory, as
             being too painful.  2 sketch roughly; plan.  block-ship Naut.  a
             ship used to block a channel.  block system a system by which no
             railway train may enter a section that is not clear.  block tin
             refined tin cast in ingots.  block up 1 confine; shut (a person
             etc.) in.  2 infill (a window, doorway, etc.) with bricks etc.
             block vote a vote proportional in power to the number of people
             a delegate represents.  mental (or psychological) block a
             particular mental inability due to subconscious emotional
             factors.  on the block US being auctioned.  put the blocks on
             prevent from proceeding.  ЬЬblocker n.  [ME f. OF bloc, bloquer
             f. MDu.  blok, of unkn. orig.]

   blockade  n. & v.  --n.  1 the surrounding or blocking of a place, esp. a
             port, by an enemy to prevent entry and exit of supplies etc.  2
             anything that prevents access or progress.  3 US an obstruction
             by snow etc.  --v.tr.  1 subject to a blockade.  2 obstruct (a
             passage, a view, etc.).  Ьblockade-runner 1 a vessel which runs
             or attempts to run into a blockaded port.  2 the owner, master,
             or one of the crew of such a vessel.  run a blockade enter or
             leave a blockaded port by evading the blockading force.
             ЬЬblockader n.  [BLOCK + -ADE(1), prob. after ambuscade]

   blockage  n.  1 an obstruction.  2 a blocked state.

             n.  a plywood board with a core of wooden strips.

             n.  sl.  1 something of great power or size, esp. an epic film
             or a book.  2 a huge bomb capable of destroying a whole block of

   blockhead n.  a stupid person.  ЬЬblockheaded adj.

             n.  1 a reinforced concrete shelter used as an observation point
             etc.  2 hist. a one-storeyed timber building with loopholes,
             used as a fort.  3 a house made of squared logs.

   blockish  adj.  1 resembling a block.  2 excessively dull; stupid, obtuse.
             3 clumsy, rude, roughly hewn.  ЬЬblockishly adv.  blockishness

   bloke     n.  Brit.  sl.  a man, a fellow.  [Shelta]

   blond     adj. & n.  --adj.  1 (of hair) light-coloured; fair.  2 (of the
             complexion, esp. as an indication of race) light-coloured.  --n.
             a person, esp. a man, with fair hair and skin.  ЬЬblondish adj.
             blondness n.  [ME f. F f. med.L blondus, blundus yellow, perh.
             of Gmc orig.]

   blonde    adj. & n.  --adj. (of a woman or a woman's hair) blond.  --n. a
             blond-haired woman.  [F fem. of blond; see BLOND]

   blood     n. & v.  --n.  1 a liquid, usually red and circulating in the
             arteries and veins of vertebrates, that carries oxygen to and
             carbon dioxide from the tissues of the body.  2 a corresponding
             fluid in invertebrates.  3 bloodshed, esp. killing.  4 passion,
             temperament.  5 race, descent, parentage (of the same blood).  6
             a relationship; relations (own flesh and blood; blood is thicker
             than water).  7 a dandy; a man of fashion.  --v.tr.  1 give (a
             hound) a first taste of blood.  2 initiate (a person) by
             experience.  Ьbad blood ill feeling.  blood-and-thunder
             (attrib.) colloq.  sensational, melodramatic.  blood bank a
             place where supplies of blood or plasma for transfusion are
             stored.  blood bath a massacre.  blood-brother a brother by
             birth or by the ceremonial mingling of blood.  blood count 1 the
             counting of the number of corpuscles in a specific amount of
             blood.  2 the number itself.  blood-curdling horrifying.  blood
             donor one who gives blood for transfusion.  blood feud a feud
             between families involving killing or injury.  blood group any
             one of the various types of human blood determining
             compatibility in transfusion.  blood-heat the normal body
             temperature of a healthy human being, about 37 шC or 98.4 шF.
             blood horse a thoroughbred.  one's blood is up one is in a
             fighting mood.  blood-letting 1 the surgical removal of some of
             a patient's blood.  2 joc. bloodshed.  blood-lust the desire for
             shedding blood.  blood-money 1 money paid to the next of kin of
             a person who has been killed.  2 money paid to a hired murderer.
             3 money paid for information about a murder or murderer.  blood
             orange an orange with red or red-streaked pulp.  blood-poisoning
             a diseased state caused by the presence of micro-organisms in
             the blood.  blood pressure the pressure of the blood in the
             circulatory system, often measured for diagnosis since it is
             closely related to the force and rate of the heartbeat and the
             diameter and elasticity of the arterial walls.  blood-red red as
             blood.  blood relation (or relative) a relative by blood, not by
             marriage.  blood royal the royal family.  blood serum see SERUM.
             blood sport sport involving the wounding or killing of animals,
             esp. hunting.  blood sugar the amount of glucose in the blood.
             blood test a scientific examination of blood, esp. for
             diagnosis.  blood transfusion the injection of a volume of
             blood, previously taken from a healthy person, into a patient.
             blood-vessel a vein, artery, or capillary carrying blood.
             blood-wort any of various plants having red roots or leaves,
             esp. the red-veined dock.  first blood 1 the first shedding of
             blood, esp. in boxing.  2 the first point gained in a contest
             etc.  in one's blood inherent in one's character.  make one's
             blood boil infuriate one.  make one's blood run cold horrify
             one.  new (or fresh) blood new members admitted to a group, esp.
             as an invigorating force.  of the blood royal.  out for a
             person's blood set on getting revenge.  taste blood be
             stimulated by an early success.  young blood 1 a younger member
             or members of a group.  2 a rake or fashionable young man.  [OE
             blod f. Gmc]

   blooded   adj.  1 (of horses etc.) of good pedigree.  2 (in comb.) having
             blood or a disposition of a specified kind (cold-blooded;

             n.  1 a large hound of a breed used in tracking and having a
             very keen sense of smell.  2 this breed.

   bloodless adj.  1 without blood.  2 unemotional; cold.  3 pale.  4 without
             bloodshed (a bloodless coup).  5 feeble; lifeless.
             ЬЬbloodlessly adv.  bloodlessness n.

   bloodshed n.  1 the spilling of blood.  2 slaughter.

   bloodshot adj.  (of an eyeball) inflamed, tinged with blood.

             n.  a discoloration caused by blood.

             adj.  1 stained with blood.  2 guilty of bloodshed.

             n.  thoroughbred horses.

             n.  a type of green chalcedony spotted or streaked with red,
             often used as a gemstone.

             n.  blood in circulation.

             n.  1 an animal or insect that sucks blood, esp. a leech.  2 an
             extortioner.  ЬЬbloodsucking adj.

             adj.  (bloodthirstier, bloodthirstiest) eager for bloodshed.
             ЬЬbloodthirstily adv.  bloodthirstiness n.

   bloodworm n.  1 any of a variety of bright-red midge-larvae.  2 a small
             tubifex worm used as food for aquarium fish.

   bloody    adj., adv., & v.  --adj.  (bloodier, bloodiest) 1 a of or like
             blood.  b running or smeared with blood (bloody bandage).  2 a
             involving, loving, or resulting from bloodshed (bloody battle).
             b sanguinary; cruel (bloody butcher).  3 coarse sl. expressing
             annoyance or antipathy, or as an intensive (a bloody shame; a
             bloody sight better; not a bloody chocolate left).  4 red.
             --adv.  coarse sl. as an intensive (a bloody good job; I'll
             bloody thump him).  --v.tr.  (-ies, -ied) make bloody; stain
             with blood.  Ьbloody hand Heraldry the armorial device of a
             baronet.  Bloody Mary a drink composed of vodka and tomato
             juice.  bloody-minded colloq.  deliberately uncooperative.
             bloody-mindedly colloq.  in a perverse or uncooperative manner.
             bloody-mindedness colloq.  perversity, contrariness.  ЬЬbloodily
             adv.  bloodiness n.  [OE blodig (as BLOOD, -Y(1))]

   bloom(1)  n. & v.  --n.  1 a a flower, esp. one cultivated for its beauty.
             b the state of flowering (in bloom).  2 a state of perfection or
             loveliness; the prime (in full bloom).  3 a (of the complexion)
             a flush; a glow.  b a delicate powdery surface deposit on plums,
             grapes, leaves, etc., indicating freshness.  c a cloudiness on a
             shiny surface.  --v.  1 intr. bear flowers; be in flower.  2
             intr.  a come into, or remain in, full beauty.  b flourish; be
             in a healthy, vigorous state.  3 tr.  Photog. coat (a lens) so
             as to reduce reflection from its surface.  Ьtake the bloom off
             make stale.  water-bloom scum formed by algae on the surface of
             standing water.  [ME f. ON blўm, blўmi etc. f. Gmc: cf.

   bloom(2)  n. & v.  --n. a mass of puddled iron hammered or squeezed into a
             thick bar.  --v.tr. make into bloom.  [OE bloma]

             n.  sl.  a blunder.  [= BLOOMING error]

             n.  Brit.  an oblong loaf with a rounded diagonally slashed top.
             [20th c.: orig. uncert.]

             n.  a plant that blooms (in a specified way) (early autumn

   bloomers  n.pl.  1 women's loose-fitting almost knee-length knickers.  2
             colloq. any women's knickers.  3 hist. women's loose-fitting
             trousers, gathered at the knee or (orig.)  the ankle.  [Mrs A.
             Bloomer, Amer. social reformer d. 1894, who advocated a similar

   bloomery  n.  (pl.  -ies) a factory that makes puddled iron into blooms.

   blooming  adj. & adv.  --adj.  1 flourishing; healthy.  2 Brit.  sl. an
             intensive (a blooming miracle).  --adv.  Brit.  sl. an intensive
             (was blooming difficult).  [BLOOM(1) + -ING(2): euphem. for

             n. & adj.  --n. (in full Bloomsbury Group) a group of writers,
             artists, and philosophers living in or associated with
             Bloomsbury in London in the early 20th c.  --adj.  1 associated
             with or similar to the Bloomsbury Group.  2 intellectual;

   blooper   n.  esp.  US colloq.  an embarrassing error.  [imit.  bloop +

   blossom   n. & v.  --n.  1 a flower or a mass of flowers, esp. of a
             fruit-tree.  2 the stage or time of flowering (the cherry tree
             in blossom).  3 a promising stage (the blossom of youth).
             --v.intr.  1 open into flower.  2 reach a promising stage;
             mature, thrive.  ЬЬblossomy adj.  [OE blostm(a) prob. formed as

   blot      n. & v.  --n.  1 a spot or stain of ink etc.  2 a moral defect
             in an otherwise good character; a disgraceful act or quality.  3
             any disfigurement or blemish.  --v.  (blotted, blotting) 1 a tr.
             spot or stain with ink; smudge.  b intr. (of a pen, ink, etc.)
             make blots.  2 tr.  a use blotting-paper or other absorbent
             material to absorb excess ink.  b (of blotting-paper etc.) soak
             up (esp. ink).  3 tr. disgrace (blotted his reputation).  Ьblot
             one's copybook damage one's reputation.  blot on the escutcheon
             a disgrace to the family name.  blot out 1 a obliterate
             (writing).  b obscure (a view, sound, etc.).  2 obliterate (from
             the memory) as too painful.  3 destroy.  blotting-paper unglazed
             absorbent paper used for soaking up excess ink.  [ME prob. f.
             Scand.: cf. Icel.  blettr spot, stain]

   blotch    n. & v.  --n.  1 a discoloured or inflamed patch on the skin.  2
             an irregular patch of ink or colour.  --v.tr. cover with
             blotches.  ЬЬblotchy adj.  (blotchier, blotchiest).  [17th c.:
             f. obs.  plotch and BLOT]

   blotter   n.  1 a sheet or sheets of blotting-paper, usu. inserted into a
             frame.  2 US a temporary recording-book, esp. a police

   blotto    adj.  sl.  very drunk, esp. unconscious from drinking.  [20th
             c.: perh. f.  BLOT]

   blouse    n. & v.  --n.  1 a a woman's loose, usu. lightweight, upper
             garment, usu. buttoned and collared.  b the upper part of a
             soldier's or airman's battledress.  2 a workman's or peasant's
             loose linen or cotton garment, usu. belted at the waist.
             --v.tr. make (a bodice etc.) loose like a blouse.  [F, of unkn.

   blouson   n.  a short blouse-shaped jacket.  [F]

   blow(1)   v. & n.  --v.  (past blew; past part.  blown) 1 a intr. (of the
             wind or air, or impersonally) move along; act as an air-current
             (it was blowing hard).  b intr. be driven by an air-current
             (waste paper blew along the gutter).  c tr. drive with an
             air-current (blew the door open).  2 a tr. send out (esp. air)
             by breathing (blew cigarette smoke; blew a bubble).  b intr.
             send a directed air-current from the mouth.  3 tr. & intr. sound
             or be sounded by blowing (the whistle blew; they blew the
             trumpets).  4 tr.  a direct an air-current at (blew the embers).
             b (foll. by off, away, etc.) clear of by means of an air-current
             (blew the dust off).  5 tr.  (past part.  blowed) sl. (esp. in
             imper.) curse, confound (blow it!; I'll be blowed!; let's take a
             taxi and blow the expense).  6 tr.  a clear (the nose) of mucus
             by blowing.  b remove contents from (an egg) by blowing through
             it.  7 a intr. puff, pant.  b tr. (esp. in passive) exhaust of
             breath.  8 sl.  a tr. depart suddenly from (blew the town
             yesterday).  b intr. depart suddenly.  9 tr. shatter or send
             flying by an explosion (the bomb blew the tiles off the roof;
             blew them to smithereens).  10 tr. make or shape (glass or a
             bubble) by blowing air in.  11 tr. & intr. melt or cause to melt
             from overloading (the fuse has blown).  12 intr. (of a whale)
             eject air and water through a blow-hole.  13 tr. break into (a
             safe etc.) with explosives.  14 tr.  sl.  a squander, spend
             recklessly (blew њ20 on a meal).  b spoil, bungle (an
             opportunity etc.) (he's blown his chances of winning).  c reveal
             (a secret etc.).  15 intr. (of a food-tin etc.) swell and
             eventually burst from internal gas pressure.  16 tr. work the
             bellows of (an organ).  17 tr. (of flies) deposit eggs in.  18
             intr.  US & Austral.  colloq. boast.  --n.  1 a an act of
             blowing (e.g. one's nose, a wind instrument).  b colloq. a turn
             or spell of playing jazz (on any instrument); a musical session.
             2 a a gust of wind or air.  b exposure to fresh air.  3 =
             fly-blow (see FLY(2)).  4 US a boaster.  Ьbe blowed if one will
             sl.  be unwilling to.  blow-ball the globular seed-head of a
             dandelion etc.  blow-dry arrange (the hair) while drying it with
             a hand-held drier.  blow-drier (or -dryer) a drier used for
             this.  blow the gaff reveal a secret inadvertently.  blow-hole 1
             the nostril of a whale, on the top of its head.  2 a hole (esp.
             in ice) for breathing or fishing through.  3 a vent for air,
             smoke, etc., in a tunnel etc.  blow hot and cold colloq.
             vacillate.  blow in 1 break inwards by an explosion.  2 colloq.
             arrive unexpectedly.  blow-job coarse sl.  fellatio;
             cunnilingus.  blow a kiss kiss one's hand and wave it to a
             distant person.  blow a person's mind sl.  cause a person to
             have drug-induced hallucinations or a similar experience.  blow
             off 1 escape or allow (steam etc.) to escape forcibly.  2 sl.
             break wind noisily.  blow on (or upon) make stale; discredit.
             blow out 1 a extinguish by blowing.  b send outwards by an
             explosion.  2 (of a tyre) burst.  3 (of a fuse etc.) melt.
             blow-out n.  colloq.  1 a burst tyre.  2 a melted fuse.  3 a
             huge meal.  blow over (of trouble etc.) fade away without
             serious consequences.  blow one's own trumpet praise oneself.
             blow one's top (US stack) colloq.  explode in rage.  blow up 1 a
             shatter or destroy by an explosion.  b explode, erupt.  2
             colloq. rebuke strongly.  3 inflate (a tyre etc.).  4 colloq.  a
             enlarge (a photograph).  b exaggerate.  5 colloq. come to
             notice; arise.  6 colloq. lose one's temper.  blow-up n.  1
             colloq. an enlargement (of a photograph etc.).  2 an explosion.
             blow the whistle on see WHISTLE.  [OE blawan f. Gmc]

   blow(2)   n.  1 a hard stroke with a hand or weapon.  2 a sudden shock or
             misfortune.  Ьat one blow by a single stroke; in one operation.
             blow-by-blow (of a description etc.) giving all the details in
             sequence.  come to blows end up fighting.  strike a blow for (or
             against) help (or oppose).  [15th c.: orig. unkn.]

   blow(3)   v. & n.  archaic --v.intr.  (past blew; past part.  blown) burst
             into or be in flower.  --n. blossoming, bloom (in full blow).
             [OE blowan f. Gmc]

   blower    n.  1 in senses of BLOW(1) v.  2 a device for creating a current
             of air.  3 colloq. a telephone.

   blowfish  n.  any of several kinds of fish able to inflate their bodies
             when frightened etc.

   blowfly   n.  (pl.  -flies) a meat-fly, a bluebottle.

   blowgun   n.  US = BLOWPIPE.

   blowhard  n. & adj.  colloq.  --n. a boastful person.  --adj. boastful;

   blowlamp  n.  a portable device with a very hot flame used for burning off
             paint, soldering, etc.

   blown     past part. of BLOW(1), BLOW(3).

   blowpipe  n.  1 a tube used esp. by primitive peoples for propelling
             arrows or darts by blowing.  2 a tube used to intensify the heat
             of a flame by blowing air or other gas through it at high
             pressure.  3 a tube used in glass-blowing.

   blowtorch n.  US = BLOWLAMP.

   blowy     adj.  (blowier, blowiest) windy, windswept.  ЬЬblowiness n.

   blowzy    adj.  (blowzier, blowziest) 1 coarse-looking; red-faced.  2
             dishevelled, slovenly.  ЬЬblowzily adv.  blowziness n.  [obs.
             blowze beggar's wench, of unkn. orig.]

   blub      v.intr.  (blubbed, blubbing) sl.  sob.  [abbr. of BLUBBER(1)]

             n. & v.  --n.  1 whale fat.  2 a spell of weeping.  --v.  1
             intr. sob loudly.  2 tr. sob out (words).  ЬЬblubberer n.
             blubberingly adv.  blubbery adj.  [ME perh. imit. (obs. meanings
             'foaming, bubble')]

             adj.  (of the lips) swollen, protruding.  [earlier blabber,
             blobber, imit.]

   bluchers  n.pl.  hist.  strong leather half-boots or high shoes.  [G. L.
             von BlЃcher, Prussian general d. 1819]

   bludge    v. & n.  Austral. & NZ sl.  --v.intr. avoid work.  --n. an easy
             job or assignment.  Ьbludge on impose on.  [back-form. f.

   bludgeon  n. & v.  --n. a club with a heavy end.  --v.tr.  1 beat with a
             bludgeon.  2 coerce.  [18th c.: orig. unkn.]

   bludger   n.  Austral. & NZ sl.  1 a hanger-on.  2 a loafer.  [orig. E
             sl., = pimp, f. obs.  bludgeoner f.  BLUDGEON]

   blue(1)   adj., n., & v.  --adj.  1 having a colour like that of a clear
             sky.  2 sad, depressed; (of a state of affairs) gloomy, dismal
             (feel blue; blue times).  3 indecent, pornographic (a blue
             film).  4 with bluish skin through cold, fear, anger, etc.  5
             Brit. politically conservative.  6 having blue as a
             distinguishing colour (blue jay).  --n.  1 a blue colour or
             pigment.  2 blue clothes or material (dressed in blue).  3 Brit.
             a a person who has represented a university in a sport, esp.
             Oxford or Cambridge.  b this distinction.  4 Brit. a supporter
             of the Conservative party.  5 any of various small blue-coloured
             butterflies of the family Lycaenidae.  6 blue powder used to
             whiten laundry.  7 Austral.  sl.  a an argument or row.  b (as a
             nickname) a red-headed person.  8 a blue ball, piece, etc. in a
             game or sport.  9 (prec. by the) the clear sky.  --v.tr.
             (blues, blued, bluing or blueing) 1 make blue.  2 treat with
             laundering blue.  Ьblue baby a baby with a blue complexion from
             lack of oxygen in the blood due to a congenital defect of the
             heart or great vessels.  blue bag a lawyer's brief-bag.  blue
             blood noble birth.  blue-blooded of noble birth.  Blue Book a
             report issued by Parliament or the Privy Council.  blue cheese
             cheese produced with veins of blue mould, e.g. Stilton and
             Danish Blue.  blue-chip (attrib.) of shares of reliable
             investment, though less secure than gilt-edged stock.
             blue-collar (attrib.) of manual or unskilled work.  blue dahlia
             something rare or impossible.  blue ensign see ENSIGN.
             blue-eyed boy esp.  Brit.  colloq. usu.  derog.  a favoured
             person; a favourite.  blue funk esp.  Brit.  colloq.  a state of
             great terror or panic.  blue-green alga = CYANOBACTERIUM.  blue
             ground = KIMBERLITE.  blue in the face in a state of extreme
             anger or exasperation.  blue metal broken blue stone used for
             road-making.  blue mould a bluish fungus growing on food and
             other organic matter.  blue-pencil (-pencilled, -pencilling; US
             -penciled, -penciling) censor or make cuts in (a manuscript,
             film, etc.).  Blue Peter a blue flag with a white square raised
             on board a ship leaving port.  blue ribbon 1 a high honour.  2
             Brit. the ribbon of the Order of the Garter.  blue rinse a
             preparation for tinting grey hair.  blue roan see ROAN(1).  blue
             rock = rock-dove (see ROCK(1)).  blue stone (or vitriol) copper
             sulphate crystals.  blue tit a common tit, Parus caeruleus, with
             a distinct blue crest on a black and white head.  blue water
             open sea.  blue whale a rorqual, Balaenoptera musculus, the
             largest known living mammal.  once in a blue moon very rarely.
             out of the blue unexpectedly.  ЬЬblueness n.  [ME f. OF bleu f.

   blue(2)   v.tr.  (blues, blued, bluing or blueing) sl.  squander (money).
             [perh. var. of BLOW(1)]

   Bluebeard n.  1 a man who murders his wives.  2 a person with a horrible
             secret.  [a character in a fairy-tale told orig. in F
             (Barbe-Bleue) by Perrault]

   bluebell  n.  1 a liliaceous plant, Hyacinthoides nonscripta, with
             clusters of bell-shaped blue flowers on a stem arising from a
             rhizome. Also called wild hyacinth, wood hyacinth (see
             HYACINTH).  2 Sc. a plant, Campanula rotundifolia, with solitary
             bell-shaped blue flowers on long stalks. Also called HAREBELL.
             3 any of several plants with blue bell-shaped flowers.

   blueberry n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 any of several plants of the genus Vaccinium,
             cultivated for their edible fruit.  2 the small blue-black fruit
             of these plants.

   bluebird  n.  any of various N. American songbirds of the thrush family,
             esp.  of the genus Sialia, with distinctive blue plumage usu. on
             the back or head.

             n.  1 a large buzzing fly, Calliphora vomitoria, with a
             metallic-blue body. Also called BLOWFLY.  2 Austral. a
             Portuguese man-of-war.  3 a dark blue cornflower.  4 Brit.
             colloq. a policeman.

   bluefish  n.  a voracious marine fish, Pomatomus saltatrix, inhabiting
             tropical waters and popular as a game-fish.

   bluegrass n.  US 1 any of several bluish-green grasses, esp. of Kentucky.
             2 a kind of instrumental country-and-western music characterized
             by virtuosic playing of banjos, guitars, etc.

   bluegum   n.  any tree of the genus Eucalyptus, esp.  E. regnans with
             blue-green aromatic leaves.

             n.  a seaman in the Navy.

             n.  one of four pursuivants of the English College of Arms.

   blueprint n. & v.  --n.  1 a photographic print of the final stage of
             engineering or other plans in white on a blue background.  2 a
             detailed plan, esp. in the early stages of a project or idea.
             --v.tr.  US work out (a programme, plan, etc.).

   blues     n.pl.  1 (prec. by the) a bout of depression (had a fit of the
             blues).  2 a (prec. by the; often treated as sing.) melancholic
             music of Black American folk origin, often in a twelve-bar
             sequence (always singing the blues).  b (pl. same) (as sing.) a
             piece of such music (the band played a blues).  ЬЬbluesy adj.
             (in sense 2).

             n.  usu.  derog.  an intellectual or literary woman.  [from the
             (less formal) blue stockings worn by one man at a literary
             society meeting c.1750]

   bluet     n.  US a blue-flowered plant of the genus Houstonia.

   bluey     n.  (pl.  -eys) Austral.  colloq.  1 a bundle carried by a
             bushman.  2 = BLUE n.  7b.

   bluff(1)  v. & n.  --v.  1 intr. make a pretence of strength or confidence
             to gain an advantage.  2 tr. mislead by bluffing.  --n. an act
             of bluffing; a show of confidence or assertiveness intended to
             deceive.  Ьcall a person's bluff challenge a person thought to
             be bluffing.  ЬЬbluffer n.  [19th c. (orig. in poker) f. Du.
             bluffen brag]

   bluff(2)  adj. & n.  --adj.  1 (of a cliff, or a ship's bows) having a
             vertical or steep broad front.  2 (of a person or manner) blunt,
             frank, hearty.  --n. a steep cliff or headland.  ЬЬbluffly adv.
             (in sense 2 of adj.).  bluffness n. (in sense 2 of adj.).
             [17th-c. Naut. word: orig. unkn.]

   bluish    adj.  somewhat blue.

   blunder   n. & v.  --n. a clumsy or foolish mistake, esp. an important
             one.  --v.  1 intr. make a blunder; act clumsily or ineptly.  2
             tr. deal incompetently with; mismanage.  3 intr. move about
             blindly or clumsily; stumble.  ЬЬblunderer n.  blunderingly adv.
             [ME prob. f. Scand.: cf. MSw blundra shut the eyes]

             n.  hist.  a short large-bored gun firing balls or slugs.  [alt.
             of Du.  donderbus thunder gun, assoc. with BLUNDER]

   blunge    v.tr.  (in ceramics etc.) mix (clay etc.) with water.  ЬЬblunger
             n.  [after plunge, blend]

   blunt     adj. & v.  --adj.  1 (of a knife, pencil, etc.) lacking in
             sharpness; having a worn-down point or edge.  2 (of a person or
             manner) direct, uncompromising, outspoken.  --v.tr. make blunt
             or less sharp.  ЬЬbluntly adv. (in sense 2 of adj.).  bluntness
             n.  [ME perh. f. Scand.: cf. ON blunda shut the eyes]

   blur      v. & n.  --v.  (blurred, blurring) 1 tr. & intr. make or become
             unclear or less distinct.  2 tr. smear; partially efface.  3 tr.
             make (one's memory, perception, etc.) dim or less clear.  --n.
             something that appears or sounds indistinct or unclear.
             ЬЬblurry adj.  (blurrier, blurriest).  [16th c.: perh. rel. to

   blurb     n.  a (usu. eulogistic) description of a book, esp. printed on
             its jacket, as promotion by its publishers.  [coined by G.
             Burgess, Amer. humorist d. 1951]

   blurt     v.tr.  (usu. foll. by out) utter abruptly, thoughtlessly, or
             tactlessly.  [prob. imit.]

   blush     v. & n.  --v.intr.  1 a develop a pink tinge in the face from
             embarrassment or shame.  b (of the face) redden in this way.  2
             feel embarrassed or ashamed.  3 be or become red or pink.  --n.
             1 the act of blushing.  2 a pink tinge.  Ьat first blush on the
             first glimpse or impression.  spare a person's blushes refrain
             from causing embarrassment esp. by praise.  [ME f. OE blyscan]

   blusher   n.  a cosmetic used to give a warmth of colour to the face.

   bluster   v. & n.  --v.intr.  1 behave pompously and boisterously; utter
             empty threats.  2 (of the wind etc.) blow fiercely.  --n.  1
             noisily self-assertive talk.  2 empty threats.  ЬЬblusterer n.
             blustery adj.  [16th c.: ult. imit.]

12.0 BM...

   BM        abbr.  1 British Museum.  2 Bachelor of Medicine.

   BMA       abbr.  British Medical Association.

   B.Mus.    abbr.  Bachelor of Music.

   BMX       n.  1 organized bicycle-racing on a dirt-track, esp. for
             youngsters.  2 a kind of bicycle used for this.  3 (attrib.) of
             or related to such racing or the equipment used (BMX gloves).
             [abbr. of bicycle moto- cross]

13.0 Bn....

   Bn.       abbr.  Battalion.

   bn.       abbr.  billion.

14.0 BO....

   BO        abbr.  colloq.  body odour.

   bo(1)     int.  = BOO.  [imit.]

   bo(2)     n.  US colloq.  (as a form of address) pal; old chap.  [19th c.:
             perh. f.  BOY]

   boa       n.  1 any large non-poisonous snake from tropical America esp.
             of the genus Boa, which kills its prey by crushing and
             suffocating it in its coils.  2 any snake which is similar in
             appearance, such as Old World pythons.  3 a long thin stole made
             of feathers or fur.  Ьboa constrictor a large snake, Boa
             constrictor, native to tropical America and the West Indies,
             which crushes its prey.  [L]

   boar      n.  1 (in full wild boar) the tusked wild pig, Sus scrofa, from
             which domestic pigs are descended.  2 an uncastrated male pig.
             3 its flesh.  4 a male guinea-pig etc.  [OE bar f. WG]

   board     n. & v.  --n.  1 a a flat thin piece of sawn timber, usu. long
             and narrow.  b a piece of material resembling this, made from
             compressed fibres.  c a thin slab of wood or a similar
             substance, often with a covering, used for any of various
             purposes (chessboard; ironing-board; notice-board).  d thick
             stiff card used in bookbinding.  2 the provision of regular
             meals, usu. with accommodation, for payment.  3 archaic a table
             spread for a meal.  4 the directors of a company; any other
             specially constituted administrative body, e.g. a committee or
             group of councillors, examiners, etc.  5 (in pl.) the stage of a
             theatre (cf.  tread the boards).  6 Naut. the side of a ship.
             --v.  1 tr.  a go on board (a ship, train, aircraft, etc.).  b
             force one's way on board (a ship etc.) in attack.  2 a intr.
             receive regular meals, or (esp. of a schoolchild) meals and
             lodging, for payment.  b tr. (often foll. by out) arrange
             accommodation away from home for (esp. a child).  c tr. provide
             (a lodger etc.) with regular meals.  3 tr. (usu. foll. by up)
             cover with boards; seal or close.  Ьboard-game a game played on
             a board.  board of trade US a chamber of commerce.  go by the
             board be neglected, omitted, or discarded.  on board on or on to
             a ship, aircraft, oil rig, etc.  take on board consider (a new
             idea etc.).  [OE bord f. Gmc]

   boarder   n.  1 a person who boards (see BOARD v.  2a), esp. a pupil at a
             boarding-school.  2 a person who boards a ship, esp. an enemy.

             n.  an unlicensed establishment providing board and lodging,
             esp.  to holiday-makers.

             n.  a school where pupils are resident in term-time.

   boardroom n.  a room in which a board of directors etc. meets regularly.

             n.  = WINDSURFING.  ЬЬboardsailor n.  (also boardsailer).

   boardwalk n.  US 1 a wooden walkway across sand, marsh, etc.  2 a
             promenade along a beach.

   boart     var. of BORT.

   boast     v. & n.  --v.  1 intr. declare one's achievements, possessions,
             or abilities with indulgent pride and satisfaction.  2 tr. own
             or have as something praiseworthy etc. (the hotel boasts
             magnificent views).  --n.  1 an act of boasting.  2 something
             one is proud of.  ЬЬboaster n.  boastingly adv.  [ME f. AF bost,
             of unkn. orig.]

   boastful  adj.  1 given to boasting.  2 characterized by boasting
             (boastful talk).  ЬЬboastfully adv.  boastfulness n.

   boat      n. & v.  --n.  1 a small vessel propelled on water by an engine,
             oars, or sails.  2 (in general use) a ship of any size.  3 an
             elongated boat-shaped jug used for holding sauce etc.  --v.intr.
             travel or go in a boat, esp. for pleasure.  Ьboat-hook a long
             pole with a hook and a spike at one end, for moving boats.
             boat-house a shed at the edge of a river, lake, etc., for
             housing boats.  boat people refugees who have left a country by
             sea.  boat race a race between rowing crews, esp.  (Boat Race)
             the one between Oxford and Cambridge.  boat-train a train
             scheduled to meet or go on a boat.  in the same boat sharing the
             same adverse circumstances.  push the boat out colloq.
             celebrate lavishly.  ЬЬboatful n.  (pl.  -fuls).  [OE bat f.

   boatel    var. of BOTEL.

   boater    n.  a flat-topped hardened straw hat with a brim.

   boating   n.  rowing or sailing in boats as a sport or form of recreation.

   boatload  n.  1 enough to fill a boat.  2 colloq. a large number of

   boatman   n.  (pl.  -men) a person who hires out boats or provides
             transport by boat.

   boatswain n.  (also bo'sun, bosun, bo's'n) a ship's officer in charge of
             equipment and the crew.  Ьboatswain's chair a seat suspended
             from ropes for work on the side of a ship or building.  [OE
             batswegen (as BOAT, SWAIN)]

   bob(1)    v. & n.  --v.intr.  (bobbed, bobbing) 1 move quickly up and
             down; dance.  2 (usu. foll. by back, up) a bounce buoyantly.  b
             emerge suddenly; become active or conspicuous again after a
             defeat etc.  3 curtsy.  4 (foll. by for) try to catch with the
             mouth alone (fruit etc. floating or hanging).  --n.  1 a jerking
             or bouncing movement, esp. upward.  2 a curtsy.  3 one of
             several kinds of change in long peals in bell-ringing.  [14th
             c.: prob. imit.]

   bob(2)    n. & v.  --n.  1 a short hairstyle for women and children.  2 a
             weight on a pendulum, plumb-line, or kite-tail.  3 = BOB-SLEIGH.
             4 a horse's docked tail.  5 a short line at or towards the end
             of a stanza.  6 a knot of hair; a tassel-shaped curl.  --v.
             (bobbed, bobbing) 1 tr. cut (a woman's or child's hair) so that
             it hangs clear of the shoulders.  2 intr. ride on a bob-sleigh.
             [ME: orig. unkn.]

   bob(3)    n.  (pl. same) Brit.  sl.  a former shilling (now = 5 decimal
             pence).  [19th c.: orig. unkn.]

   bob(4)    n.  Ьbob's your uncle Brit.  sl.  an expression of completion or
             satisfaction.  [pet-form of the name Robert]

   bobbin    n.  1 a a cylinder or cone holding thread, yarn, wire, etc.,
             used esp. in weaving and machine sewing.  b a spool or reel.  2
             a small bar and string for raising a door-latch.  Ьbobbin-lace
             lace made by hand with thread wound on bobbins.  [F bobine]

   bobbinet  n.  machine-made cotton net (imitating lace made with bobbins on
             a pillow).  [BOBBIN + NET(1)]

   bobble    n.  a small woolly or tufted ball as a decoration or trimming.
             [dimin. of BOB(2)]

   bobby(1)  n.  (pl.  -ies) Brit.  colloq.  a policeman.  [Sir Robert Peel,
             Engl. statesman d. 1850, founder of the metropolitan police

   bobby(2)  n.  (pl.  -ies) (in full bobby calf) Austral. & NZ an unweaned
             calf slaughtered for veal.  [Eng. dial.]

             n.  colloq.  a remarkable or excellent person or thing.  [dial.,
             rel. to DAZZLE]

   bobby-pin n.  US, Austral., & NZ a flat hairpin.  [BOB(2) + -Y(2)]

   bobby socks
             n.pl.  esp.  US short socks reaching just above the ankle.

   bobcat    n.  a small N. American lynx, Felix rufus, with a spotted
             reddish-brown coat and a short tail.  [BOB(2) + CAT]

   bobolink  n.  a N. American oriole, Dolichonyx oryzivorus.  [orig.  Bob
             (o') Lincoln: imit. of its call]

   bob-sled  n.  US = BOB-SLEIGH.

             n. & v.  --n. a mechanically-steered and -braked sledge used for
             racing down a steep ice-covered run.  --v.intr. race in a
             bob-sleigh.  [BOB(2) + SLEIGH]

   bobstay   n.  the chain or rope holding down a ship's bowsprit.  [prob.
             BOB(1) + STAY(2)]

   bobtail   n.  a docked tail; a horse or a dog with a bobtail.  [BOB(2) +

   bocage    n.  the representation of silvan scenery in ceramics.  [F f. OF
             boscage: see BOSCAGE]

   Boche     n. & adj.  sl.  derog.  --n.  1 a German, esp. a soldier.  2
             (prec. by the) Germans, esp. German soldiers, collectively.
             --adj. German.  [F sl., orig. = rascal: applied to Germans in
             the war of 1914-18]

   bock      n.  a strong dark German beer.  [F f. G abbr. of Eimbockbier f.
             Einbeck in Hanover]

   BOD       abbr.  biochemical oxygen demand.

   bod       n.  Brit.  colloq.  a person.  [abbr. of BODY]

   bode      v.  1 tr. portend, foreshow.  2 tr. foresee, foretell (evil).
             Ьbode well (or ill) show good (or bad) signs for the future.
             ЬЬboding n.  [OE bodian f.  boda messenger]

   bodega    n.  a cellar or shop selling wine and food, esp. in a
             Spanish-speaking country.  [Sp. f. L apotheca f. Gk apotheke

   bodge     var. of BOTCH.

             n.  in Mahayana Buddhism, one who is able to reach nirvana but
             delays doing so through compassion for suffering beings.  [Skr.,
             = one whose essence is perfect knowledge]

   bodice    n.  1 the part of a woman's dress (excluding sleeves) which is
             above the waist.  2 a woman's undergarment, like a vest, for the
             same part of the body.  [orig.  pair of bodies = stays, corsets]

   bodiless  adj.  1 lacking a body.  2 incorporeal, insubstantial.

   bodily    adj. & adv.  --adj. of or concerning the body.  --adv.  1 with
             the whole bulk; as a whole (threw them bodily).  2 in the body;
             as a person.

   bodkin    n.  1 a blunt thick needle with a large eye used esp. for
             drawing tape etc. through a hem.  2 a long pin for fastening
             hair.  3 a small pointed instrument for piercing cloth, removing
             a piece of type for correction, etc.  [ME perh. f. Celt.]

   body      n. & v.  --n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 the physical structure, including
             the bones, flesh, and organs, of a person or an animal, whether
             dead or alive.  2 the trunk apart from the head and the limbs.
             3 a the main or central part of a thing (body of the car; body
             of the attack).  b the bulk or majority; the aggregate (body of
             opinion).  4 a a group of persons regarded collectively, esp. as
             having a corporate function (governing body).  b (usu. foll. by
             of) a collection (body of facts).  5 a quantity (body of water).
             6 a piece of matter (heavenly body).  7 colloq. a person.  8 a
             full or substantial quality of flavour, tone, etc., e.g.  in
             wine, musical sounds, etc.  --v.tr.  (-ies, -ied) (usu. foll. by
             forth) give body or substance to.  Ьbody-blow a severe setback.
             body-building the practice of strengthening the body, esp.
             shaping and enlarging the muscles, by exercise.  body-colour an
             opaque pigment.  body language the process of communicating
             through conscious or unconscious gestures and poses.  body-line
             bowling Cricket persistent fast bowling on the leg side
             threatening the batsman's body.  body odour the smell of the
             human body, esp. when unpleasant.  body politic the nation or
             State as a corporate body.  body scanner a scanning X-ray
             machine for taking tomograms of the whole body.  body shop a
             workshop where repairs to the bodywork of vehicles are carried
             out.  body stocking a woman's undergarment, usually made of
             knitted nylon, which covers the torso.  body warmer a sleeveless
             quilted or padded jacket worn as an outdoor garment.  in a body
             all together.  keep body and soul together keep alive, esp.
             barely.  over my dead body colloq.  entirely without my assent.
             ЬЬ-bodied adj. (in comb.) (able-bodied).  [OE bodig, of unkn.

             n. & v.  Sport --n. a deliberate obstruction of one player by
             another.  --v.tr. obstruct in this way.

   bodyguard n.  a person or group of persons escorting and protecting
             another person (esp. a dignitary).

   bodywork  n.  the outer shell of a vehicle.

   Boer      n. & adj.  --n. a South African of Dutch descent.  --adj. of or
             relating to the Boers.  [Du.: see BOOR]

   boffin    n.  esp.  Brit.  colloq.  a person engaged in scientific (esp.
             military) research.  [20th c.: orig. unkn.]

   Bofors gun
             n.  a type of light anti-aircraft gun.  [Bofors in Sweden]

   bog       n. & v.  --n.  1 a wet spongy ground.  b a stretch of such
             ground.  2 Brit.  sl. a lavatory.  --v.tr.  (bogged, bogging)
             (foll. by down; usu. in passive) impede (was bogged down by
             difficulties).  Ьbog-bean = BUCKBEAN.  bog myrtle a deciduous
             shrub, Myrica gale, which grows in damp open places and has
             short upright catkins and aromatic grey-green leaves: also
             called sweet-gale (see GALE(2)).  bog oak an ancient oak which
             has been preserved in a black state in peat.  bog spavin see
             SPAVIN.  bog-trotter sl.  derog.  an Irishman.  ЬЬboggy adj.
             (boggier, boggiest).  bogginess n.  [Ir. or Gael.  bogach f.
             bog soft]

   bogey(1)  n. & v.  Golf --n.  (pl.  -eys) 1 a score of one stroke more
             than par at any hole.  2 (formerly) a score that a good player
             should do a hole or course in; par.  --v.tr.  (-eys, -eyed) play
             (a hole) in one stroke more than par.  [perh. f.  Bogey as an
             imaginary player]

   bogey(2)  n.  (also bogy) (pl.  -eys or -ies) 1 an evil or mischievous
             spirit; a devil.  2 an awkward thing or circumstance.  3 sl. a
             piece of dried nasal mucus.  [19th c., orig. as a proper name:
             cf.  BOGLE]

   bogeyman  n.  (also bogyman) (pl.  -men) a person (real or imaginary)
             causing fear or difficulty.

   boggle    v.intr.  colloq.  1 be startled or baffled (esp. the mind
             boggles).  2 (usu. foll. by about, at) hesitate, demur.  [prob.
             f. dial.  boggle BOGEY(2)]

   bogie     n.  esp.  Brit.  1 a wheeled undercarriage pivoted below the end
             of a rail vehicle.  2 a small truck used for carrying coal,
             rubble, etc.  [19th-c. north. dial. word: orig. unkn.]

   bogle     n.  1 = BOGEY(2).  2 a phantom.  3 a scarecrow.  [orig. Sc.
             (16th c.), prob. rel. to BOGEY]

   bogus     adj.  sham, fictitious, spurious.  ЬЬbogusly adv.  bogusness n.
             [19th-c. US word: orig. unkn.]

   bogy      var. of BOGEY(2).

   bogyman   var. of BOGEYMAN.

   bohea     n.  a black China tea, the last crop of the season and usu.
             regarded as of low quality.  [Bu-i (Wuyi) Hills in China]

   Bohemian  n. & adj.  --n.  1 a native of Bohemia, a former kingdom in
             central Europe corresponding to part of modern Czechoslovakia;
             Czech.  2 (also bohemian) a socially unconventional person, esp.
             an artist or writer.  --adj.  1 of, relating to, or
             characteristic of Bohemia or its people.  2 socially
             unconventional.  ЬЬbohemianism n. (in sense 2).  [Bohemia + -AN:
             sense 2 f. F boh‚mien gypsy]

   boil(1)   v. & n.  --v.  1 intr.  a (of a liquid) start to bubble up and
             turn into vapour; reach a temperature at which this happens.  b
             (of a vessel) contain boiling liquid (the kettle is boiling).  2
             a tr. bring (a liquid or vessel) to a temperature at which it
             boils.  b tr. cook (food) by boiling.  c intr. (of food) be
             cooked by boiling.  d tr. subject to the heat of boiling water,
             e.g. to clean.  3 intr.  a (of the sea etc.) undulate or seethe
             like boiling water.  b (of a person or feelings) be greatly
             agitated, esp. by anger.  --n. the act or process of boiling;
             boiling-point (on the boil; bring to the boil).  Ьboil down 1
             reduce volume by boiling.  2 reduce to essentials.  3 (foll. by
             to) amount to; signify basically.  boiled shirt a dress shirt
             with a starched front.  boiled sweet Brit.  a sweet made of
             boiled sugar.  boil over 1 spill over in boiling.  2 lose one's
             temper; become over-excited.  make one's blood boil see BLOOD.
             [ME f. AF boiller, OF boillir, f. L bullire to bubble f.  bulla

   boil(2)   n.  an inflamed pus-filled swelling caused by infection of a
             hair follicle etc.  [OE byl(e) f. WG]

   boiler    n.  1 a fuel-burning apparatus for heating a hot-water supply.
             2 a tank for heating water, esp. for turning it to steam under
             pressure.  3 a metal tub for boiling laundry etc.  4 a fowl,
             vegetable, etc., suitable for cooking only by boiling.
             Ьboiler-room a room with a boiler and other heating equipment,
             esp. in the basement of a large building.  boiler suit a
             one-piece suit worn as overalls for heavy manual work.

   boiling   adj.  (also boiling hot) colloq.  very hot.

             n.  1 the temperature at which a liquid starts to boil.  2 high
             excitement (feelings reached boiling-point).

             adj.  1 (of a person) rough; noisily exuberant.  2 (of the sea,
             weather, etc.) stormy, rough.  ЬЬboisterously adv.
             boisterousness n.  [var. of ME boist(u)ous, of unkn. orig.]

   bolas     n.  (as sing. or pl.) (esp. in S. America) a missile consisting
             of a number of balls connected by strong cord, which when thrown
             entangles the limbs of the quarry.  [Sp. & Port., pl. of bola

   bold      adj.  1 confidently assertive; adventurous, courageous.  2
             forthright, impudent.  3 vivid, distinct, well-marked (bold
             colours; a bold imagination).  4 Printing (in full bold-face or
             -faced) printed in a thick black typeface.  Ьas bold as brass
             excessively bold or self-assured.  make (or be) so bold as to
             presume to; venture to.  ЬЬboldly adv.  boldness n.  [OE bald
             dangerous f. Gmc]

   bole(1)   n.  the stem or trunk of a tree.  [ME f. ON bolr, perh. rel. to

   bole(2)   n.  fine compact earthy clay.  [LL BOLUS]

   bolero    n.  (pl.  -os) 1 a a Spanish dance in simple triple time.  b
             music for or in the time of a bolero.  2 also a woman's short
             open jacket.  [Sp.]

   boll      n.  a rounded capsule containing seeds, esp. flax or cotton.
             Ьboll-weevil a small American or Mexican weevil, Anthonomus
             grandis, whose larvae destroy cotton bolls.  [ME f. MDu.  bolle:
             see BOWL(1)]

   bollard   n.  1 Brit. a short metal, concrete, or plastic post in the
             road, esp. as part of a traffic island.  2 a short post on a
             quay or ship for securing a rope.  [ME perh. f. ON bolr BOLE(1)
             + -ARD]

             n.  coarse sl.  a severe reprimand.

   bollocks  n.  (also ballocks) coarse sl.  °Usually considered a taboo
             word.  1 the testicles.  2 (usu. as an exclam. of contempt)
             nonsense, rubbish.  [OE bealluc, rel. to BALL(1)]

   bologna   n.  US = BOLOGNA SAUSAGE.

   Bologna sausage
             n.  US a large smoked sausage made of bacon, veal, pork-suet,
             and other meats, and sold ready for eating.  [Bologna in Italy]

   bolometer n.  a sensitive electrical instrument for measuring radiant
             energy.  ЬЬbolometry n.  bolometric adj.  [Gk bole ray + -METER]

   boloney   n.  (also baloney) (pl.  -eys) sl.  1 humbug, nonsense.  2 =
             BOLOGNA SAUSAGE.  [20th c.: orig. uncert.]

   Bolshevik n. & adj.  --n.  1 hist. a member of the radical faction of the
             Russian socialist party, which became the communist party in
             1918.  2 a Russian communist.  3 (in general use) any
             revolutionary socialist.  --adj.  1 of, relating to, or
             characteristic of the Bolsheviks.  2 communist.  ЬЬBolshevism n.
             Bolshevist n.  [Russ., = a member of the majority, one who (in
             1903) favoured extreme measures, f.  bol' she greater]

   Bolshie   adj. & n.  (also Bolshy) sl.  --adj. (usu.  bolshie) 1
             uncooperative, rebellious, awkward; bad-tempered.  2 left-wing,
             socialist.  --n.  (pl.  -ies) a Bolshevik.  ЬЬbolshiness n. (in
             sense 1 of adj.).  [abbr.]

             n. & v.  --n.  1 a long thick pillow.  2 a pad or support, esp.
             in a machine.  3 Building a short timber cap over a post to
             increase the bearing of the beams it supports.  --v.tr. (usu.
             foll. by up) 1 encourage, reinforce (bolstered our morale).  2
             support with a bolster; prop up.  ЬЬbolsterer n.  [OE f. Gmc]

             n.  a chisel for cutting bricks.  [20th c.: orig. uncert.]

   bolt(1)   n., v., & adv.  --n.  1 a sliding bar and socket used to fasten
             or lock a door, gate, etc.  2 a large usu. metal pin with a
             head, usu. riveted or used with a nut, to hold things together.
             3 a discharge of lightning.  4 an act of bolting (cf.  sense 4
             of v.); a sudden escape or dash for freedom.  5 hist. an arrow
             for shooting from a crossbow.  6 a roll of fabric (orig. as a
             measure).  --v.  1 tr. fasten or lock with a bolt.  2 tr. (foll.
             by in, out) keep (a person etc.) from leaving or entering by
             bolting a door.  3 tr. fasten together with bolts.  4 intr.  a
             dash suddenly away, esp. to escape.  b (of a horse) suddenly
             gallop out of control.  5 tr. gulp down (food) unchewed; eat
             hurriedly.  6 intr. (of a plant) run to seed.  --adv. (usu. in
             bolt upright) rigidly, stiffly.  Ьa bolt from the blue a
             complete surprise.  bolt-hole 1 a means of escape.  2 a secret
             refuge.  shoot one's bolt do all that is in one's power.
             ЬЬbolter n. (in sense 4 of v.).  [OE bolt arrow]

   bolt(2)   v.tr.  (also boult) sift (flour etc.).  ЬЬbolter n.  [ME f. OF
             bulter, buleter, of unkn. orig.]

   bolus     n.  (pl.  boluses) 1 a soft ball, esp. of chewed food.  2 a
             large pill.  [LL f. Gk bolos clod]

   bomb      n. & v.  --n.  1 a a container with explosive, incendiary
             material, smoke, or gas etc., designed to explode on impact or
             by means of a time-mechanism or remote-control device.  b an
             ordinary object fitted with an explosive device (letter-bomb).
             2 (prec. by the) the atomic or hydrogen bomb considered as a
             weapon with supreme destructive power.  3 Brit.  sl. a large sum
             of money (cost a bomb).  4 a mass of solidified lava thrown from
             a volcano.  5 US colloq. a bad failure (esp. a theatrical one).
             6 sl. a drugged cigarette.  7 Med. = radium bomb.  --v.  1 tr.
             attack with bombs; drop bombs on.  2 tr. (foll. by out) drive (a
             person etc.) out of a building or refuge by using bombs.  3
             intr. throw or drop bombs.  4 intr. esp.  US sl. fail badly.  5
             intr.  colloq. (usu. foll. by along, off) move or go very
             quickly.  6 tr.  US sl. criticize fiercely.  Ьbomb-bay a
             compartment in an aircraft used to hold bombs.  bomb-disposal
             the defusing or removal and detonation of an unexploded bomb.
             bomb-sight a device in an aircraft for aiming bombs.  bomb-site
             an area where buildings have been destroyed by bombs.  go down a
             bomb colloq., often iron.  be very well received.  like a bomb
             Brit.  colloq.  1 often iron. very successfully.  2 very fast.
             [F bombe f. It.  bomba f. L bombus f. Gk bombos hum]

   bombard   v.tr.  1 attack with a number of heavy guns or bombs.  2 (often
             foll. by with) subject to persistent questioning, abuse, etc.  3
             Physics direct a stream of high-speed particles at (a
             substance).  ЬЬbombardment n.  [F bombarder f.  bombarde f.
             med.L bombarda a stone-throwing engine: see BOMB]

             n.  1 Brit. a non-commissioned officer in the artillery.  2 US a
             member of a bomber crew responsible for sighting and releasing
             bombs.  [F (as BOMBARD)]

   bombardon n.  Mus.  1 a type of valved bass tuba.  2 an organ stop
             imitating this.  [It.  bombardone f.  bombardo bassoon]

   bombasine var. of BOMBAZINE.

   bombast   n.  pompous or extravagant language.  ЬЬbombastic adj.
             bombastically adv.  [earlier bombace cotton wool f. F f. med.L
             bombax -acis alt. f.  bombyx; see BOMBAZINE]

   Bombay duck
             n.  a dried fish, esp. bummalo, usu. eaten with curried dishes.
             [corrupt. of bombil: see BUMMALO]

   bombazine (also bombasine) n.  a twilled dress-material of worsted with or
             without an admixture of silk or cotton, esp., when black,
             formerly used for mourning.  [F bombasin f. med.L bombacinum f.
             LL bombycinus silken f.  bombyx -ycis silk or silkworm f. Gk

   bombe     n.  Cookery a dome-shaped dish or confection, freq. frozen.  [F,
             = BOMB]

   bomber    n.  1 an aircraft equipped to carry and drop bombs.  2 a person
             using bombs, esp. illegally.  Ьbomber jacket a short leather or
             cloth jacket tightly gathered at the waist and cuffs.

   bombora   n.  Austral.  a dangerous sea area where waves break over a
             submerged reef.  [Aboriginal]

   bombproof adj.  strong enough to resist the effects of blast from a bomb.

   bombshell n.  1 an overwhelming surprise or disappointment.  2 an
             artillery bomb.  3 sl. a very attractive woman (blonde

   bona fide adj. & adv.  --adj. genuine; sincere.  --adv. genuinely;
             sincerely.  [L, ablat. sing. of BONA FIDES]

   bona fides
             n.  1 esp. Law. an honest intention; sincerity.  2 (as pl.)
             colloq. documentary evidence of acceptability (his bona fides
             are in order).  [L, = good faith]

   bonanza   n. & adj.  --n.  1 a source of wealth or prosperity.  2 a large
             output (esp. of a mine).  3 a prosperity; good luck.  b a run of
             good luck.  --adj. greatly prospering or productive.  [orig. US
             f. Sp., = fair weather, f. L bonus good]

   bona vacantia
             n.  Law goods without an apparent owner.  [L, = ownerless goods]

   bon-bon   n.  a piece of confectionery; a sweet.  [F f.  bon good f. L

   bonce     n.  Brit.  1 sl. the head.  2 a large playing-marble.  [19th c.:
             orig. unkn.]

   bond      n. & v.  --n.  1 a a thing that ties another down or together.
             b (usu. in pl.) a thing restraining bodily freedom (broke his
             bonds).  2 (often in pl.) a a uniting force (sisterly bond).  b
             a restraint; a responsibility (bonds of duty).  3 a binding
             engagement; an agreement (his word is his bond).  4 Commerce a
             certificate issued by a government or a public company promising
             to repay borrowed money at a fixed rate of interest at a
             specified time; a debenture.  5 adhesiveness.  6 Law a deed by
             which a person is bound to make payment to another.  7 Chem.
             linkage between atoms in a molecule or a solid.  8 Building the
             laying of bricks in one of various patterns in a wall in order
             to ensure strength (English bond; Flemish bond).  --v.  1 tr.  a
             lay (bricks) overlapping.  b bind together (resin with fibres,
             etc.).  2 intr. adhere; hold together.  3 tr. connect with a
             bond.  4 tr. place (goods) in bond.  5 intr. become emotionally
             attached.  Ьbond paper high-quality writing-paper.  bond-washing
             dividend-stripping.  in bond (of goods) stored in a bonded
             warehouse until the importer pays the duty owing (see BONDED).
             [ME var. of BAND(1)]

   bondage   n.  1 serfdom; slavery.  2 subjection to constraint, influence,
             obligation, etc.  3 sado-masochistic practices, including the
             use of physical restraints or mental enslavement.  [ME f. AL
             bondagium: infl. by BOND]

   bonded    adj.  1 (of goods) placed in bond.  2 (of material) reinforced
             by or cemented to another.  3 (of a debt) secured by bonds.
             Ьbonded warehouse a Customs-controlled warehouse for the
             retention of imported goods until the duty owed is paid.

   bondsman  n.  (pl.  -men) 1 a slave.  2 a person in thrall to another.
             [var. of bondman (f. archaic bond in serfdom or slavery) as
             though f.  bond's genitive of BOND(1)]

   bone      n. & v.  --n.  1 any of the pieces of hard tissue making up the
             skeleton in vertebrates.  2 (in pl.) a the skeleton, esp. as
             remains after death.  b the body, esp. as a seat of intuitive
             feeling (felt it in my bones).  3 a the material of which bones
             consist.  b a similar substance such as ivory, dentine, or
             whalebone.  4 a thing made of bone.  5 (in pl.) the essential
             part of a thing (the bare bones).  6 (in pl.) a dice.  b
             castanets.  7 a strip of stiffening in a corset etc.  --v.  1
             tr. take out the bones from (meat or fish).  2 tr. stiffen (a
             garment) with bone etc.  3 tr.  Brit.  sl. steal.  Ьbone china
             fine china made of clay mixed with the ash from bones.  bone-dry
             quite dry.  bone idle (or lazy) utterly idle or lazy.  bone-meal
             crushed or ground bones used esp. as a fertilizer.  bone of
             contention a source or ground of dispute.  bone-setter a person
             who sets broken or dislocated bones, esp. without being a
             qualified surgeon.  bone spavin see SPAVIN.  bone up (often
             foll. by on) colloq.  study (a subject) intensively.  close to
             (or near) the bone 1 tactless to the point of offensiveness.  2
             destitute; hard up.  have a bone to pick (usu. foll. by with)
             have a cause for dispute (with another person).  make no bones
             about 1 admit or allow without fuss.  2 not hesitate or scruple.
             point the bone (usu. foll. by at) Austral.  1 wish bad luck on.
             2 cast a spell on in order to kill.  to the bone 1 to the bare
             minimum.  2 penetratingly.  work one's fingers to the bone work
             very hard, esp. thanklessly.  ЬЬboneless adj.  [OE ban f. Gmc]

   bonefish  n.  US any of several species of large game-fish, esp.  Albula
             vulpes, having many small bones.

   bonehead  n.  sl.  a stupid person.  ЬЬboneheaded adj.

   boner     n.  sl.  a stupid mistake.  [BONE + -ER(1)]

             n.  1 a decrepit or uncomfortable old vehicle.  2 an old type of
             bicycle with solid tyres.

   bonfire   n.  a large open-air fire for burning rubbish, as part of a
             celebration, or as a signal.  ЬBonfire Night Brit.  5 Nov., on
             which fireworks are displayed and an effigy of Guy Fawkes burnt
             (see GUY(1)).  make a bonfire of destroy by burning.  [earlier
             bonefire f.  BONE (bones being the chief material formerly used)
             + FIRE]

   bongo(1)  n.  (pl.  -os or -oes) either of a pair of small long-bodied
             drums usu. held between the knees and played with the fingers.
             [Amer. Sp.  bongў]

   bongo(2)  n.  (pl. same or -os) a rare antelope, Tragelaphus euryceros,
             native to the forests of central Africa, having spiralled horns
             and a chestnut-red coat with narrow white vertical stripes.
             [cf. Bangi mbangani, Lingala mongu]

   bonhomie  n.  geniality; good-natured friendliness.  [F f.  bonhomme good

   bonhomous adj.  full of bonhomie.

   bonito    n.  (pl.  -os) any of several tunny-like fish which are striped
             like mackerel and are common in tropical seas.  [Sp.]

   bonk      v. & n.  --v.  1 tr. hit resoundingly.  2 intr. bang; bump.  3
             coarse sl.  a intr. have sexual intercourse.  b tr. have sexual
             intercourse with.  --n. an instance of bonking (a bonk on the
             head).  ЬЬbonker n.  [imit.: cf.  BANG, BUMP(1), CONK(2)]

   bonkers   adj.  sl.  crazy.  [20th c.: orig. unkn.]

   bon mot   n.  (pl.  bons mots pronunc. same or) a witty saying.  [F]

   bonne bouche
             n.  (pl.  bonne bouches or bonnes bouches pronunc. same ) a
             titbit, esp. to end a meal with.  [F f.  bonne fem. good +
             bouche mouth]

   bonnet    n.  1 a a woman's or child's hat tied under the chin and usu.
             with a brim framing the face.  b a soft round brimless hat like
             a beret worn by men and boys in Scotland (cf.  TAM-O'-SHANTER).
             c colloq. any hat.  2 Brit. a hinged cover over the engine of a
             motor vehicle.  3 the ceremonial feathered head-dress of an
             American Indian.  4 the cowl of a chimney etc.  5 a protective
             cap in various machines.  6 Naut. additional canvas laced to the
             foot of a sail.  Ьbonnet monkey an Indian macaque, Macaca
             radiata, with a bonnet-like tuft of hair.  ЬЬbonneted adj.  [ME
             f. OF bonet short for chapel de bonet cap of some kind of
             material (med.L bonetus)]

             n.  = SHOVELHEAD.

   bonny     adj.  (bonnier, bonniest) esp.  Sc. & N.Engl.  1 a physically
             attractive.  b healthy-looking.  2 good, fine, pleasant.
             ЬЬbonnily adv.  bonniness n.  [16th c.: perh. f. F bon good]

   bonsai    n.  (pl. same) 1 the art of cultivating ornamental artificially
             dwarfed varieties of trees and shrubs.  2 a tree or shrub grown
             by this method.  [Jap.]

   bonspiel  n.  esp.  Sc.  a curling-match (usu. between two clubs).  [16th
             c.: perh. f. LG]

   bontebok  n.  (also bontbok) (pl. same or -boks) a large chestnut
             antelope, Damaliscus dorcas, native to southern Africa, having a
             white tail and a white patch on its head and rump.  [Afrik. f.
             bont spotted + bok BUCK(1)]

   bonus     n.  1 an unsought or unexpected extra benefit.  2 a a usu.
             seasonal gratuity to employees beyond their normal pay.  b an
             extra dividend or issue paid to the shareholders of a company.
             c a distribution of profits to holders of an insurance policy.
             [L bonus, bonum good (thing)]

   bon vivant
             n.  (pl.  bon vivants or bons vivants pronunc. same) a person
             indulging in good living; a gourmand.  [F, lit. good liver f.
             vivre to live]

   bon viveur
             n.  (pl.  bon viveurs or bons viveurs pronunc. same) = BON
             VIVANT.  [pseudo-F]

   bon voyage
             int. & n.  an expression of good wishes to a departing
             traveller.  [F]

   bony      adj.  (bonier, boniest) 1 (of a person) thin with prominent
             bones.  2 having many bones.  3 of or like bone.  4 (of a fish)
             having bones rather than cartilage.  ЬЬboniness n.

   bonze     n.  a Japanese or Chinese Buddhist priest.  [F bonze or Port.
             bonzo perh. f. Jap.  bonzo f. Chin.  fanseng religious person,
             or f. Jap.  bo-zi f. Chin.  fasi teacher of the law]

   bonzer    adj.  Austral.  sl.  excellent, first-rate.  [perh. f.  BONANZA]

   boo       int., n., & v.  --int.  1 an expression of disapproval or
             contempt.  2 a sound, made esp. to a child, intended to
             surprise.  --n. an utterance of boo, esp. as an expression of
             disapproval or contempt made to a performer etc.  --v.  (boos,
             booed) 1 intr. utter a boo or boos.  2 tr. jeer at (a performer
             etc.) by booing.  Ьcan't (or wouldn't) say boo to a goose is
             very shy or timid.  [imit.]

   boob(1)   n. & v.  sl.  --n.  1 Brit. an embarrassing mistake.  2 a
             simpleton.  --v.intr.  Brit. make an embarrassing mistake.
             [abbr. of BOOBY]

   boob(2)   n.  sl.  a woman's breast.  Ьboob tube sl.  1 a woman's low-cut
             close-fitting usu. strapless top.  2 (usu. prec. by the) US
             television; one's television set.  [earlier bubby, booby, of
             uncert. orig.]

   booboo    n.  sl.  a mistake.  [BOOB(1)]

   boobook   n.  Austral.  a brown spotted owl, Ninox novae-seelandiae,
             native to Australia and New Zealand .  [imit. of its call]

   booby     n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 a stupid or childish person.  2 a small gannet
             of the genus Sula.  Ьbooby-hatch esp.  US sl.  a mental
             hospital.  booby prize a prize given to the least successful
             competitor in any contest.  booby trap 1 a trap intended as a
             practical joke, e.g. an object placed on top of a door ajar.  2
             Mil. an apparently harmless explosive device intended to kill or
             injure anyone touching it.  booby-trap v.tr.  place a booby trap
             or traps in or on.  [prob. f. Sp.  bobo (in both senses) f. L
             balbus stammering]

   boodle    n.  sl.  money, esp. when gained or used dishonestly, e.g. as a
             bribe.  [Du.  boedel possessions]

   boogie    v. & n.  --v.intr.  (boogies, boogied, boogying) sl. dance
             enthusiastically to pop music.  --n.  1 = BOOGIE-WOOGIE.  2 sl.
             a dance to pop music.  [BOOGIE-WOOGIE]

             n.  a style of playing blues or jazz on the piano, marked by a
             persistent bass rhythm.  [20th c.: orig. unkn.]

   book      n. & v.  --n.  1 a a written or printed work consisting of pages
             glued or sewn together along one side and bound in covers.  b a
             literary composition intended for publication (is working on her
             book).  2 a bound set of blank sheets for writing or keeping
             records in.  3 a set of tickets, stamps, matches, cheques,
             samples of cloth, etc., bound up together.  4 (in pl.) a set of
             records or accounts.  5 a main division of a literary work, or
             of the Bible (the Book of Deuteronomy).  6 (in full book of
             words) a libretto, script of a play, etc.  7 colloq. a magazine.
             8 a telephone directory (his number's in the book).  9 a record
             of bets made and money paid out at a race meeting by a
             bookmaker.  10 a set of six tricks collected together in a
             card-game.  11 an imaginary record or list (the book of life).
             --v.  1 tr.  a engage (a seat etc.) in advance; make a
             reservation of.  b engage (a guest, supporter, etc.) for some
             occasion.  2 tr.  a take the personal details of (an offender or
             rule-breaker).  b enter in a book or list.  3 tr. issue a
             railway etc. ticket to.  4 intr. make a reservation (no need to
             book).  Ьbook club a society which sells its members selected
             books on special terms.  book-end a usu. ornamental prop used to
             keep a row of books upright.  book in esp.  Brit.  register
             one's arrival at a hotel etc.  book learning mere theory.
             book-plate a decorative label stuck in the front of a book
             bearing the owner's name.  book-rest an adjustable support for
             an open book on a table.  book token Brit.  a voucher which can
             be exchanged for books to a specified value.  book up 1 buy
             tickets in advance for a theatre, concert, holiday, etc.  2 (as
             booked up) with all places reserved.  book value the value of a
             commodity as entered in a firm's books (opp.  market value).
             bring to book call to account.  closed (or sealed) book a
             subject of which one is ignorant.  go by the book proceed
             according to the rules.  the good Book the Bible.  in a person's
             bad (or good) books in disfavour (or favour) with a person.  in
             my book in my opinion.  make a book take bets and pay out
             winnings at a race meeting.  not in the book disallowed.  on the
             books contained in a list of members etc.  suits my book is
             convenient to me.  take a leaf out of a person's book imitate a
             person.  throw the book at colloq.  charge or punish to the
             utmost.  [OE boc, bocian, f. Gmc, usu. taken to be rel. to BEECH
             (the bark of which was used for writing on)]

             n.  a person who binds books professionally.  ЬЬbookbinding n.

   bookcase  n.  a set of shelves for books in the form of a cabinet.

   bookie    n.  colloq. = BOOKMAKER.

   booking   n.  the act or an instance of booking or reserving a seat, a
             room in a hotel, etc.; a reservation (see BOOK v.  1).
             Ьbooking-clerk an official selling tickets at a railway station.
             booking-hall (or -office) Brit.  a room or area at a railway
             station in which tickets are sold.

   bookish   adj.  1 studious; fond of reading.  2 acquiring knowledge from
             books rather than practical experience.  3 (of a word, language,
             etc.) literary; not colloquial.  ЬЬbookishly adv.  bookishness

             n.  a person who keeps accounts for a trader, a public office,
             etc.  ЬЬbookkeeping n.

   bookland  n.  hist.  an area of common land granted by charter to a
             private owner.

   booklet   n.  a small book consisting of a few sheets usu. with paper

   bookmaker n.  a person who takes bets, esp. on horse-races, calculates
             odds, and pays out winnings.  ЬЬbookmaking n.

   bookman   n.  (pl.  -men) a literary man, esp. a reviewer.

   bookmark  n.  (also bookmarker) a strip of leather, card, etc., used to
             mark one's place in a book.

             n.  US a mobile library.  [after AUTOMOBILE]

             n.  a dealer in books.

   bookshop  n.  a shop where books are sold.

   bookstall n.  a stand for selling books, newspapers, etc., esp. out of
             doors or at a station.

   bookstore n.  US = BOOKSHOP.

   booksy    adj.  colloq.  having literary or bookish pretensions.

   bookwork  n.  the study of books (as opposed to practical work).

   bookworm  n.  1 colloq. a person devoted to reading.  2 the larva of a
             moth or beetle which feeds on the paper and glue used in books.

   Boolean   adj.  denoting a system of algebraic notation to represent
             logical propositions.  ЬBoolean logic the use of the logical
             operators 'and', 'or', and 'not' in retrieving information from
             a computer database.  [G.  Boole, Engl. mathematician d. 1864]

   boom(1)   n. & v.  --n. a deep resonant sound.  --v.intr. make or speak
             with a boom.  [imit.]

   boom(2)   n. & v.  --n. a period of prosperity or sudden activity in
             commerce.  --v.intr. (esp. of commercial ventures) be suddenly
             prosperous or successful.  Ьboom town a town undergoing sudden
             growth due to a boom.  ЬЬboomlet n.  [19th-c. US word, perhaps
             f.  BOOM(1) (cf.  make things hum)]

   boom(3)   n.  1 Naut. a pivoted spar to which the foot of a sail is
             attached, allowing the angle of the sail to be changed.  2 a
             long pole over a film or television set, carrying microphones
             and other equipment.  3 a floating barrier across the mouth of a
             harbour or river.  [Du., = BEAM n.]

   boomer    n.  1 a large male kangaroo.  2 a N. American mountain beaver,
             Aplodontia rufa.  3 a large wave.

   boomerang n. & v.  --n.  1 a curved flat hardwood missile used by
             Australian Aboriginals to kill prey, and often of a kind able to
             return in flight to the thrower.  2 a plan or scheme that
             recoils on its originator.  --v.intr.  1 act as a boomerang.  2
             (of a plan or action) backfire.  [Aboriginal name, perh.

   boomslang n.  a large venomous tree-snake, Dispholidus typus, native to
             southern Africa.  [Afrik. f.  boom tree + slang snake]

   boon(1)   n.  1 an advantage; a blessing.  2 archaic a a thing asked for;
             a request.  b a gift; a favour.  [ME, orig. = prayer, f. ON bўn
             f. Gmc]

   boon(2)   adj.  close, intimate, favourite (usu.  boon companion).  [ME
             (orig. = jolly, congenial) f. OF bon f. L bonus good]

   boondock  n.  (usu. in pl.) US sl.  rough or isolated country.  [Tagalog
             bundok mountain]

   boor      n.  1 a rude, ill-mannered person.  2 a clumsy person.
             ЬЬboorish adj.  boorishly adv.  boorishness n.  [LG bur or Du.
             boer farmer: cf.  BOWER(3)]

   boost     v. & n.  colloq.  --v.tr.  1 a promote or increase the
             reputation of (a person, scheme, commodity, etc.) by praise or
             advertising; push; increase or assist (boosted his spirits;
             boost sales).  b push from below; assist (boosted me up the
             tree).  2 a raise the voltage in (an electric circuit etc.).  b
             amplify (a radio signal).  --n.  1 an act, process, or result of
             boosting; a push (asked for a boost up the hill).  2 a an
             advertisement campaign.  b the resulting advance in value,
             reputation, etc.  [19th-c. US word: orig. unkn.]

   booster   n.  1 a device for increasing electrical power or voltage.  2 an
             auxiliary engine or rocket used to give initial acceleration.  3
             Med. a dose of an immunizing agent increasing or renewing the
             effect of an earlier one.  4 a person who boosts by helping or

   boot(1)   n. & v.  --n.  1 an outer covering for the foot, esp. of
             leather, reaching above the ankle, often to the knee.  2 Brit.
             the luggage compartment of a motor car, usu. at the rear.  3
             colloq. a firm kick.  4 (prec. by the) colloq. dismissal, esp.
             from employment (gave them the boot).  5 a covering to protect
             the lower part of a horse's leg.  6 hist. an instrument of
             torture encasing and crushing the foot.  --v.tr.  1 kick, esp.
             hard.  2 (often foll. by out) dismiss (a person) forcefully.  3
             (usu. foll. by up) put (a computer) in a state of readiness (cf.
             BOOTSTRAP 2).  Ьthe boot is on the other foot (or leg) the truth
             or responsibility is the other way round.  die with one's boots
             on (of a soldier etc.) die fighting.  put the boot in 1 kick
             brutally.  2 act decisively against a person.  you bet your
             boots sl.  it is quite certain.  ЬЬbooted adj.  [ME f. ON bўti
             or f. OF bote, of unkn. orig.]

   boot(2)   n.  Ьto boot as well; to the good; in addition.  [orig. =
             'advantage': OE bot f. Gmc]

   bootblack n.  US a person who polishes boots and shoes.

   bootee    n.  1 a soft shoe, esp. a woollen one, worn by a baby.  2 a
             woman's short boot.

   booth     n.  1 a small temporary roofed structure of canvas, wood, etc.,
             used esp. as a market stall, for puppet shows, etc.  2 an
             enclosure or compartment for various purposes, e.g. telephoning
             or voting.  3 a set of a table and benches in a restaurant or
             bar.  [ME f. Scand.]

   bootjack  n.  a device for holding a boot by the heel to ease withdrawal
             of the leg.

   bootlace  n.  a cord or leather thong for lacing boots.

   bootleg   adj. & v.  --adj. (esp. of liquor) smuggled; illicitly sold.
             --v.tr.  (-legged, -legging) make, distribute, or smuggle
             illicit goods (esp. alcohol).  ЬЬbootlegger n.  [f. the
             smugglers' practice of concealing bottles in their boots]

   bootless  adj.  archaic unavailing, useless.  [OE botleas (as BOOT(2),

             n.  colloq.  a person who behaves obsequiously or servilely; a

   boots     n.  Brit.  a hotel servant who cleans boots and shoes, carries
             luggage. etc.

   bootstrap n.  1 a loop at the back of a boot used to pull it on.  2
             Computing a technique of loading a program into a computer by
             means of a few initial instructions which enable the
             introduction of the rest of the program from an input device.
             Ьpull oneself up by one's bootstraps better oneself by one's own

   booty     n.  1 plunder gained esp. in war or by piracy.  2 colloq.
             something gained or won.  [ME f. MLG bute, buite exchange, of
             uncert. orig.]

   booze     n. & v.  colloq.  --n.  1 alcoholic drink.  2 the drinking of
             this (on the booze).  --v.intr. drink alcoholic liquor, esp.
             excessively or habitually.  Ьbooze-up sl.  a drinking bout.
             [earlier bouse, bowse, f. MDu.  busen drink to excess]

   boozer    n.  colloq.  1 a person who drinks alcohol, esp. to excess.  2
             Brit. a public house.

   boozy     adj.  (boozier, booziest) colloq.  intoxicated; addicted to
             drink.  ЬЬboozily adv.  booziness n.

   bop(1)    n. & v.  colloq.  --n.  1 = BEBOP.  2 a a spell of dancing, esp.
             to pop music.  b an organized social occasion for this.
             --v.intr.  (bopped, bopping) dance, esp. to pop music.  ЬЬbopper
             n.  [abbr. of BEBOP]

   bop(2)    v. & n.  colloq.  --v.tr.  (bopped, bopping) hit, punch lightly.
             --n. a light blow or hit.  [imit.]

   bo-peep   n.  a game of hiding and suddenly reappearing, played with a
             young child.  [BO(1) + PEEP(1)]

   bora(1)   n.  a strong cold dry NE wind blowing in the upper Adriatic.
             [It. dial. f. L boreas north wind: see BOREAL]

   bora(2)   n.  Austral.  an Aboriginal rite in which boys are initiated
             into manhood.  [Aboriginal]

   boracic   adj.  of borax; containing boron.  Ьboracic acid = boric acid.
             [med.L borax -acis]

   borage    n.  any plant of the genus Borago, esp.  Borago officinalis with
             bright blue flowers and leaves used as flavouring.  [OF
             bourrache f. med.L borrago f. Arab. ' abu ' arak father of sweat
             (from its use as a diaphoretic)]

   borak     n.  Austral. & NZ sl.  banter, ridicule.  [Aboriginal Austral.]

   borane    n.  Chem.  any hydride of boron.

   borate    n.  a salt or ester of boric acid.

   borax     n.  1 the mineral salt sodium borate, occurring in alkaline
             deposits as an efflorescence or as crystals.  2 the purified
             form of this salt, used in making glass and china, and as an
             antiseptic.  [ME f. OF boras f. med.L borax f. Arab.  burak f.
             Pers.  burah]

   borazon   n.  a hard form of boron nitride, resistant to oxidation.
             [BORON + AZO- nitrogen + -on]

             n.  (pl.  borborygmi) a rumbling of gas in the intestines.
             ЬЬborborygmic adj.  [mod.L f. Gk]

   Bordeaux  n.  (pl. same) any of various red, white, or ros‚ wines from the
             district of Bordeaux in SW France.  ЬBordeaux mixture a
             fungicide for vines, fruit-trees, etc., composed of equal
             quantities of copper sulphate and calcium oxide in water.

   bordello  n.  (pl.  -os) esp.  US a brothel.  [ME (f. It.  bordello) f. OF
             bordel small farm, dimin. of borde ult. f. Frank.: see BOARD]

   border    n. & v.  --n.  1 the edge or boundary of anything, or the part
             near it.  2 a the line separating two political or geographical
             areas, esp. countries.  b the district on each side of this.  c
             (the Border) a particular boundary and its adjoining districts,
             esp. between Scotland and England (usu.  the Borders), or N.
             Ireland and the Irish Republic.  3 a distinct edging round
             anything, esp. for strength or decoration.  4 a long narrow bed
             of flowers or shrubs in a garden (herbaceous border).  --v.  1
             tr. be a border to.  2 tr. provide with a border.  3 intr. (usu.
             foll. by on, upon) a adjoin; come close to being.  b
             approximate, resemble.  ЬBorder collie a common working sheepdog
             of the North Country.  Border terrier 1 a small terrier of a
             breed with rough hair.  2 this breed.  [ME f. OF bordure: cf.

   borderer  n.  a person who lives near a border, esp. that between Scotland
             and England.

             n.  1 the district near a border.  2 an intermediate condition
             between two extremes.  3 an area for debate.

             n. & adj.  --n.  1 the line dividing two (often extreme)
             conditions.  2 a line marking a boundary.  --adj.  1 on the
             borderline.  2 verging on an extreme condition; only just

   bordure   n.  Heraldry a border round the edge of a shield.  [ME form of

   bore(1)   v. & n.  --v.  1 tr. make a hole in, esp. with a revolving tool.
             2 tr. hollow out (a tube etc.).  3 tr.  a make (a hole) by
             boring or excavation.  b make (one's way) through a crowd etc.
             4 intr. (of an athlete, racehorse, etc.) push another competitor
             out of the way.  5 intr. drill a well (for oil etc.).  --n.  1
             the hollow of a firearm barrel or of a cylinder in an
             internal-combustion engine.  2 the diameter of this; the
             calibre.  3 = BOREHOLE.  [OE borian f. Gmc]

   bore(2)   n. & v.  --n. a tiresome or dull person or thing.  --v.tr. weary
             by tedious talk or dullness.  Ьbore a person to tears weary (a
             person) in the extreme.  [18th c.: orig. unkn.]

   bore(3)   n.  a high tidal wave rushing up a narrow estuary. Also called
             EAGRE.  [ME, perh. f. ON b ra wave]

   bore(4)   past of BEAR(1).

   boreal    adj.  1 of the North or northern regions.  2 of the north wind.
             [ME f. F bor‚al or LL borealis f. L Boreas f. Gk Boreas god of
             the north wind]

   boredom   n.  the state of being bored; ennui.

   borehole  n.  1 a deep narrow hole, esp. one made in the earth to find
             water, oil, etc.  2 Austral. a water-hole for cattle.

   borer     n.  1 any of several worms, molluscs, insects, or insect larvae
             which bore into wood, other plant material, and rock.  2 a tool
             for boring.

   boric     adj.  of or containing boron.  Ьboric acid an acid derived from
             borax, used as a mild antiseptic and in the manufacture of
             heat-resistant glass and enamels.

   boring    adj.  that makes one bored; uninteresting, tedious, dull.
             ЬЬboringly adv.  boringness n.

   born      adj.  1 existing as a result of birth.  2 a being such or likely
             to become such by natural ability or quality (a born leader).  b
             (usu. foll. by to + infin.) having a specified destiny or
             prospect (born lucky; born to be king; born to lead men).  3 (in
             comb.) of a certain status by birth (French-born; well-born).
             Ьborn-again (attrib.) converted (esp. to fundamentalist
             Christianity).  born and bred by birth and upbringing.  in all
             one's born days colloq.  in one's life so far.  not born
             yesterday colloq.  not stupid; shrewd.  [past part. of BEAR(1)]

   borne     1 past part. of BEAR(1).  2 (in comb.) carried or transported by

   born‚     adj.  1 narrow-minded; of limited ideas.  2 having limitations.

   Bornholm's disease
             n.  a viral infection with fever and pain in the muscles of the
             ribs.  [Bornholm in Denmark]

   boro-     comb. form indicating salts containing boron.

   boron     n.  Chem.  a non-metallic yellow crystalline or brown amorphous
             element extracted from borax and boracic acid and mainly used
             for hardening steel.  °Symb.: B.  [BORAX + - on f.  carbon
             (which it resembles in some respects)]

   boronia   n.  Austral.  any sweet-scented shrub of the genus Boronia.  [F.
             Borone, It. botanist d. 1794]

             n.  any of many substances containing boron, silicon, and oxygen
             generally used in glazes and enamels and in the production of

   borough   n.  1 Brit.  a a town represented in the House of Commons.  b a
             town or district granted the status of a borough.  2 Brit.
             hist. a town with a municipal corporation and privileges
             conferred by a royal charter.  3 US a municipal corporation in
             certain States.  4 US each of five divisions of New York City.
             5 US (in Alaska) a county.  [OE burg, burh f. Gmc: cf.  BURGH]

   borrow    v.  1 a tr. acquire temporarily with the promise or intention of
             returning.  b intr. obtain money in this way.  2 tr. use (an
             idea, invention, etc.) originated by another; plagiarize.  3
             intr.  Golf a play the ball uphill so that it rolls back towards
             the hole.  b allow for the wind or a slope.  Ьborrowed time an
             unexpected extension esp. of life.  ЬЬborrower n.  borrowing n.
             [OE borgian give a pledge]

   borsch    var. of BORTSCH.

   Borstal   n.  Brit.  hist.  an institution for reforming and training
             young offenders.  °Now replaced by detention centre and youth
             custody centre.  [Borstal in S. England, where the first of
             these was established]

   bort      n.  (also boart) 1 an inferior or malformed diamond, used for
             cutting.  2 fragments of diamonds produced in cutting.  [Du.

   bortsch   n.  (also borsch) a highly seasoned Russian or Polish soup with
             various ingredients including beetroot and cabbage and served
             with sour cream.  [Russ.  borshch]

   borzoi    n.  1 a large Russian wolfhound of a breed with a narrow head
             and silky, usu. white, coat.  2 this breed.  [Russ. f.  borzyi

   boscage   n.  (also boskage) 1 masses of trees or shrubs.  2 wooded
             scenery.  [ME f. OF boscage f. Gmc: cf.  BUSH(1)]

   bosh      n. & int.  sl.  nonsense; foolish talk.  [Turk.  bos empty]

   bosky     adj.  (boskier, boskiest) literary wooded, bushy.  [ME bosk

   bo's'n    var. of BOATSWAIN.

   bosom     n.  1 a a person's breast or chest, esp. a woman's.  b colloq.
             each of a woman's breasts.  c the enclosure formed by a person's
             breast and arms.  2 an emotional centre, esp. as the source of
             an enfolding relationship (in the bosom of one's family).  3 the
             part of a woman's dress covering the breast.  Ьbosom friend a
             very close or intimate friend.  [OE bosm f. Gmc]

   bosomy    adj.  (of a woman) having large breasts.

   boson     n.  Physics any of several elementary particles obeying the
             relations stated by Bose and Einstein, with a zero or integral
             spin, e.g. photons (cf.  FERMION).  [S. N.  Bose, Ind. physicist
             d. 1974]

   boss(1)   n. & v.  colloq.  --n.  1 a person in charge; an employer,
             manager, or overseer.  2 US a person who controls or dominates a
             political organization.  --v.tr.  1 (usu. foll. by about,
             around) treat domineeringly; give constant peremptory orders to.
             2 be the master or manager of.  [orig. US: f. Du.  baas master]

   boss(2)   n.  1 a round knob, stud, or other protuberance, esp. on the
             centre of a shield or in ornamental work.  2 Archit. a piece of
             ornamental carving etc. covering the point where the ribs in a
             vault or ceiling cross.  3 Geol. a large mass of igneous rock.
             4 Mech. an enlarged part of a shaft.  [ME f. OF boce f. Rmc]

   bossa nova
             n.  1 a dance like the samba, originating in Brazil.  2 a piece
             of music for this or in its rhythm.  [Port., = new flair]

   boss-eyed adj.  Brit.  colloq.  1 having only one good eye; cross-eyed.  2
             crooked; out of true.  [dial.  boss miss, bungle]

   boss-shot n.  Brit.  dial. & sl.  1 a bad shot or aim.  2 an unsuccessful
             attempt.  [as BOSS-EYED]

   bossy     adj.  (bossier, bossiest) colloq.  domineering; tending to boss.
             Ьbossy-boots colloq.  a domineering person.  ЬЬbossily adv.
             bossiness n.

   bosun     (also bo'sun) var. of BOATSWAIN.

   bot       n.  (also bott) any of various parasitic larvae of flies of the
             family Oestridae, infesting horses, sheep, etc.  Ьbot-fly (pl.
             -flies) any dipterous fly of the genus Oestrus, with stout hairy
             bodies.  [prob. of LG orig.]

   bot.      abbr.  1 bottle.  2 botanic; botanical; botany.  3 bought.

   botanize  v.intr.  (also -ise) study plants, esp. in their habitat.

   Botany    n. (in full Botany wool) merino wool, esp. from Australia.
             [Botany Bay, New S. Wales, named from the variety of its flora]

   botany    n.  1 the study of the physiology, structure, genetics, ecology,
             distribution, classification, and economic importance of plants.
             2 the plant life of a particular area or time.  ЬЬbotanic adj.
             botanical adj.  botanically adv.  botanist n.  [botanic f. F
             botanique or LL botanicus f. Gk botanikos f.  botane plant]

   botch     v. & n.  (also bodge) --v.tr.  1 bungle; do badly.  2 patch or
             repair clumsily.  --n. bungled or spoilt work (made a botch of
             it).  ЬЬbotcher n.  [ME: orig. unkn.]

   botel     n.  (also boatel) a waterside hotel with facilities for mooring
             boats.  [blend of BOAT and HOTEL]

   both      adj., pron., & adv.  --adj. & pron. the two, not only one (both
             boys; both the boys; both of the boys; the boys are both here).
             °Widely used with of, esp. when followed by a pronoun (e.g.
             both of us) or a noun implying separate rather than collective
             consideration, e.g.  both of the boys suggests each boy rather
             than the two together.  --adv. with equal truth in two cases
             (both the boy and his sister are here; are both here and
             hungry).  Ьboth ways = each way.  have it both ways alternate
             between two incompatible points of view to suit the needs of the
             moment.  [ME f. ON b thir]

   bother    v., n., & int.  --v.  1 tr.  a give trouble to; worry, disturb.
             b refl. (often foll. by about) be anxious or concerned.  2 intr.
             a (often foll. by about, or to + infin.) worry or trouble
             oneself (don't bother about that; didn't bother to tell me).  b
             (foll. by with) be concerned.  --n.  1 a a person or thing that
             bothers or causes worry.  b a minor nuisance.  2 trouble, worry,
             fuss.  --int. esp.  Brit. expressing annoyance or impatience.
             Ьcannot be bothered will not make the effort needed.  [Ir.
             bodhraim deafen]

             n. & int.  colloq.  = BOTHER n., int.

             adj.  causing bother; troublesome.

   bothy     n.  (also bothie) (pl.  -ies) Sc.  a small hut or cottage, esp.
             one for housing labourers.  [18th c.: orig. unkn.: perh. rel. to

   bo-tree   n.  the Indian fig-tree, Ficus religiosa, regarded as sacred by
             Buddhists. Also called PIPAL or PEEPUL.  [repr. Sinh.  bogaha
             tree of knowledge (Buddha's enlightenment having occurred
             beneath such a tree)]

   bott      var. of BOT.

   bottle    n. & v.  --n.  1 a container, usu. of glass or plastic and with
             a narrow neck, for storing liquid.  2 the amount that will fill
             a bottle.  3 a baby's feeding-bottle.  4 = hot-water bottle.  5
             a metal cylinder for liquefied gas.  6 Brit.  sl. courage,
             confidence.  --v.tr.  1 put into bottles or jars.  2 preserve
             (fruit etc.) in jars.  3 (foll. by up) a conceal or restrain for
             a time (esp. a feeling).  b keep (an enemy force etc.) contained
             or entrapped.  4 (as bottled adj.) sl. drunk.  Ьbottle bank a
             place where used bottles may be deposited for recycling.
             bottle-brush 1 a cylindrical brush for cleaning inside bottles.
             2 any of various plants with a flower of this shape.
             bottle-green a dark shade of green.  bottle party a party to
             which guests bring bottles of drink.  bottle tree any of various
             Australian trees of the genus Brachychiton with a swollen
             bottle-shaped trunk.  hit the bottle sl.  drink heavily.  on the
             bottle sl.  drinking (alcoholic drink) heavily.  ЬЬbottleful n.
             (pl.  -fuls).  [ME f. OF botele, botaille f. med.L butticula
             dimin. of LL buttis BUTT(4)]

             v.tr.  (past and past part.  -fed) feed (a baby) with milk by
             means of a bottle.

             n.  1 a point at which the flow of traffic, production, etc., is
             constricted.  2 a narrow place causing constriction.

             n.  (also bottlenosed) a swollen nose.  Ьbottlenose dolphin a
             dolphin, Tursiops truncatus, with a bottle-shaped snout.

   bottler   n.  1 a person who bottles drinks etc.  2 Austral. & NZ sl. an
             excellent person or thing.

   bottom    n., adj., & v.  --n.  1 a the lowest point or part (bottom of
             the stairs).  b the part on which a thing rests (bottom of a
             saucepan).  c the underneath part (scraped the bottom of the
             car).  d the furthest or inmost part (bottom of the garden).  2
             colloq.  a the buttocks.  b the seat of a chair etc.  3 a the
             less honourable, important, or successful end of a table, a
             class, etc. (at the bottom of the list of requirements).  b a
             person occupying this place (he's always bottom of the class).
             4 the ground under the water of a lake, a river, etc. (swam
             until he touched the bottom).  5 the basis; the origin (he's at
             the bottom of it).  6 the essential character; reality.  7 Naut.
             a the keel or hull of a ship.  b a ship, esp. as a
             cargo-carrier.  8 staying power; endurance.  --adj.  1 lowest
             (bottom button).  2 last (got the bottom score).  --v.  1 tr.
             put a bottom to (a chair, saucepan, etc.).  2 intr. (of a ship)
             reach or touch the bottom.  3 tr. find the extent or real nature
             of; work out.  4 tr. (usu. foll. by on) base (an argument etc.)
             (reasoning bottomed on logic).  5 tr. touch the bottom or lowest
             point of.  Ьat bottom basically, essentially.  be at the bottom
             of have caused.  bet one's bottom dollar sl.  stake all.  bottom
             dog = UNDERDOG.  bottom drawer Brit.  linen etc. stored by a
             woman in preparation for her marriage.  bottom falls out
             collapse occurs.  bottom gear see GEAR.  bottom line colloq.
             the underlying or ultimate truth; the ultimate, esp. financial,
             criterion.  bottom out reach the lowest level.  bottoms up!  a
             call to drain one's glass.  bottom up upside-down.  get to the
             bottom of fully investigate and explain.  knock the bottom out
             of prove (a thing) worthless.  ЬЬbottommost adj.  [OE botm f.

             adj.  1 without a bottom.  2 (of a supply etc.) inexhaustible.

   bottomry  n. & v.  Naut.  --n. a system of using a ship as security
             against a loan to finance a voyage, the lender losing his or her
             money if the ship sinks.  --v.tr.  (-ies, -ied) pledge (a ship)
             in this way.  [BOTTOM = ship + -RY, after Du.  bodemerij]

   botulism  n.  poisoning caused by a toxin produced by the bacillus
             Clostridium botulinum growing in poorly preserved food.  [G
             Botulismus f. L botulus sausage]

   boucl‚    n.  1 a looped or curled yarn (esp. wool).  2 a fabric, esp.
             knitted, made of this.  [F, = buckled, curled]

   boudoir   n.  a woman's small private room or bedroom.  [F, lit.
             sulking-place f.  bouder sulk]

   bouffant  adj.  (of a dress, hair, etc.) puffed out.  [F]

             n.  any tropical widely cultivated plant of the genus
             Bougainvillaea, with large coloured bracts (usu. purple, red, or
             white) almost concealing the inconspicuous flowers.  [L. A. de
             Bougainville, Fr. navigator d. 1811]

   bough     n.  a branch of a tree, esp. a main one.  [OE bog, boh f. Gmc]

   bought    past and past part. of BUY.

   boughten  adj.  US or dial.  bought at a shop, not home-made.  [var. of
             past part. of BUY]

   bougie    n.  1 Med. a thin flexible surgical instrument for exploring,
             dilating, etc. the passages of the body.  2 a wax candle.  [F f.
             Arab.  Bujiya Algerian town with a wax trade]

             n.  Cookery a rich, spicy fish-stew, orig. from Provence.  [F]

   bouilli   n.  Cookery stewed or boiled meat.  [F, = boiled]

   bouillon  n.  thin soup; broth.  [F f.  bouillir to boil]

   boulder   n.  a large stone worn smooth by erosion.  Ьboulder-clay Geol.
             a mixture of boulders etc. formed by deposition from massive
             bodies of melting ice, to give distinctive glacial formations.
             [short for boulderstone, ME f. Scand.]

   boule(1)  n.  (also boules pronunc. same) a French form of bowls, played
             on rough ground with usu. metal balls.  [F, = BOWL(2)]

   boule(2)  n.  a legislative body of an ancient Greek city or of modern
             Greece.  [Gk boule senate]

   boule(3)  var. of BUHL.

   boules    var. of BOULE(1).

   boulevard n.  1 a broad tree-lined avenue.  2 esp. US a broad main road.
             [F f. G Bollwerk BULWARK, orig. of a promenade on a demolished

   boulle    var. of BUHL.

   boult     var. of BOLT(2).

   bounce    v. & n.  --v.  1 a intr. (of a ball etc.) rebound.  b tr. cause
             to rebound.  c tr. & intr. bounce repeatedly.  2 intr.  sl. (of
             a cheque) be returned by a bank when there are insufficient
             funds to meet it.  3 intr.  a (foll. by about, up) (of a person,
             dog, etc.) jump or spring energetically.  b (foll. by in, out,
             etc.) rush noisily, angrily, enthusiastically, etc. (bounced
             into the room; bounced out in a temper).  4 tr.  colloq. (usu.
             foll. by into + verbal noun) hustle, persuade (bounced him into
             signing).  5 intr.  colloq. talk boastfully.  6 tr.  sl. eject
             forcibly (from a dancehall, club, etc.).  --n.  1 a a rebound.
             b the power of rebounding (this ball has a good bounce).  2
             colloq.  a swagger, self-confidence (has a lot of bounce).  b
             liveliness.  3 sl. an ejection.  Ьbounce back regain one's good
             health, spirits, prosperity, etc.  [ME bunsen beat, thump,
             (perh. imit.), or f. LG bunsen, Du.  bons thump]

   bouncer   n.  1 sl. a person employed to eject troublemakers from a
             dancehall, club, etc.  2 Cricket = BUMPER.

   bouncing  adj.  1 (esp. of a baby) big and healthy.  2 boisterous.

   bouncy    adj.  (bouncier, bounciest) 1 (of a ball etc.) that bounces
             well.  2 cheerful and lively.  3 resilient, springy (a bouncy
             sofa).  ЬЬbouncily adv.  bounciness n.

   bound(1)  v. & n.  --v.intr.  1 a spring, leap (bounded out of bed).  b
             walk or run with leaping strides.  2 (of a ball etc.) recoil
             from a wall or the ground; bounce.  --n.  1 a springy movement
             upwards or outwards; a leap.  2 a bounce.  Ьby leaps and bounds
             see LEAP.  [F bond, bondir (orig. of sound) f. LL bombitare f. L
             bombus hum]

   bound(2)  n. & v.  --n. (usu. in pl.) 1 a limitation; a restriction
             (beyond the bounds of possibility).  2 a border of a territory;
             a boundary.  --v.tr.  1 (esp. in passive; foll. by by) set
             bounds to; limit (views bounded by prejudice).  2 be the
             boundary of.  Ьout of bounds 1 outside the part of a school etc.
             in which one is allowed to be.  2 beyond what is acceptable;
             forbidden.  [ME f. AF bounde, OF bonde etc., f. med.L bodina,
             earlier butina, of unkn. orig.]

   bound(3)  adj.  1 (usu. foll. by for) ready to start or having started
             (bound for stardom).  2 (in comb.) moving in a specified
             direction (northbound; outward bound).  [ME f. ON bЈinn past
             part. of bЈa get ready: -d euphonic, or partly after BIND(1)]

   bound(4)  past and past part. of BIND.  Ьbound to certain to (he's bound
             to come).

   boundary  n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 a line marking the limits of an area,
             territory, etc. (the fence is the boundary; boundary between
             liberty and licence).  2 Cricket a hit crossing the limits of
             the field, scoring 4 or 6 runs.  Ьboundary layer the fluid
             immediately surrounding an object that is immersed and moving.
             boundary rider Austral. & NZ a person employed to ride round the
             fences etc. of a cattle or sheep station and keep them in good
             order.  boundary umpire (in Australian Rules) an umpire on the
             sidelines who signals when the ball is out.  [dial.  bounder f.
             BOUND(2) + -ER(1) perh. after limitary]

   bounden   adj.  archaic obligatory.  Ьbounden duty solemn responsibility.
             [archaic past part. of BIND]

   bounder   n.  colloq. or joc.  a cad; an ill-bred person.

   boundless adj.  unlimited; immense (boundless enthusiasm).  ЬЬboundlessly
             adv.  boundlessness n.

   bounteous adj.  poet.  1 generous, liberal.  2 freely given (bounteous
             affection).  ЬЬbounteously adv.  bounteousness n.  [ME f. OF
             bontif f.  bont‚ BOUNTY after plenteous]

   bountiful adj.  1 = BOUNTEOUS.  2 ample.  ЬLady Bountiful a charitable but
             patronizing lady of a neighbourhood (after a character in
             Farquhar's Beaux' Stratagem, 1707).  ЬЬbountifully adv.  [BOUNTY
             + -FUL]

   bounty    n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 liberality; generosity.  2 a gift or reward,
             made usu. by the State, esp.: a a sum paid for a valiant act.  b
             a sum paid to encourage a trading enterprise etc.  c a sum paid
             to army or navy recruits on enlistment.  Ьbounty-hunter a person
             who pursues a criminal or seeks an achievement for the sake of
             the reward.  King's (or Queen's) bounty hist.  a grant made to a
             mother of triplets.  [ME f. OF bont‚ f. L bonitas -tatis f.
             bonus good]

   bouquet   n.  1 a bunch of flowers, esp. for carrying at a wedding or
             other ceremony.  2 the scent of wine etc.  3 a favourable
             comment; a compliment.  Ьbouquet garni Cookery a bunch of herbs
             used for flavouring stews etc.  [F f. dial. var. of OF bos, bois

   Bourbon   n.  1 a chocolate-flavoured biscuit with chocolate-cream
             filling.  2 US a reactionary.  [the Bourbon family, whose
             descendants founded dynasties in France and Spain]

   bourbon   n.  US whisky distilled from maize and rye.  [Bourbon County,
             Kentucky, where it was first made]

   bourdon   n.  Mus.  1 a low-pitched stop in an organ or harmonium.  2 the
             lowest bell in a peal of bells.  3 the drone pipe of a bagpipe.
             [F, = bagpipe-drone, f. Rmc, imit.]

   bourgeois adj. & n.  often derog.  --adj.  1 a conventionally
             middle-class.  b humdrum, unimaginative.  c selfishly
             materialistic.  2 upholding the interests of the capitalist
             class; non-communist.  --n. a bourgeois person.  [F: see

             n.  1 the capitalist class.  2 the middle class.  [F]

   bourn(1)  n.  a small stream.  [ME: S. Engl. var. of BURN(2)]

   bourn(2)  n.  (also bourne) archaic 1 a goal; a destination.  2 a limit.
             [F borne f. OF bodne BOUND(2)]

   bourr‚e   n.  1 a lively French dance like a gavotte.  2 the music for
             this dance.  [F]

   bourse    n.  1 (Bourse) the Paris equivalent of the Stock Exchange.  2 a
             money-market.  [F, = purse, f. med.L bursa: cf.  PURSE(1)]

             adj. & adv.  (of written words) from right to left and from left
             to right in alternate lines.  [Gk (adv.) = as an ox turns in
             ploughing f.  bous ox + -strophos turning]

   bout      n.  (often foll. by of) 1 a a limited period (of intensive work
             or exercise).  b a drinking session.  c a period (of illness) (a
             bout of flu).  2 a a wrestling- or boxing-match.  b a trial of
             strength.  [16th c.: app. the same as obs.  bought bending]

   boutique  n.  a small shop or department of a store, selling (esp.
             fashionable) clothes or accessories.  [F, = small shop, f. L (as

             n.  a spray of flowers worn in a buttonhole.  [F]

   bouzouki  n.  a Greek form of mandolin.  [mod. Gk]

   bovate    n.  hist.  a measure of land, as much as one ox could plough in
             a year, varying from 10 to 18 acres.  [med.L bovata f. L bos
             bovis ox]

   bovine    adj.  1 of or relating to cattle.  2 stupid, dull.  ЬЬbovinely
             adv.  [LL bovinus f. L bos bovis ox]

   Bovril    n.  propr.  a concentrated essence of beef diluted with hot
             water to make a drink.  [L bos bovis ox, cow]

   bovver    n.  Brit.  sl.  deliberate troublemaking.  Ьbovver boot a heavy
             laced boot worn typically by skinheads.  bovver boy a violent
             hooligan.  [cockney pronunc. of BOTHER]

   bow(1)    n. & v.  --n.  1 a a slip-knot with a double loop.  b a ribbon,
             shoelace, etc., tied with this.  c a decoration (on clothing, or
             painted etc.) in the form of a bow.  2 a device for shooting
             arrows with a taut string joining the ends of a curved piece of
             wood etc.  3 a a rod with horsehair stretched along its length,
             used for playing the violin, cello, etc.  b a single stroke of a
             bow over strings.  4 a a shallow curve or bend.  b a rainbow.  5
             = saddle-bow.  6 a metal ring forming the handle of scissors, a
             key, etc.  7 US the side-piece of a spectacle-frame.  8 Archery
             = BOWMAN(1).  --v.tr. (also absol.) use a bow on (a violin etc.)
             (he bowed vigorously).  Ьbow-compass (or -compasses) compasses
             with jointed legs.  bow-legged having bandy legs.  bow-legs
             bandy legs.  bow-saw Carpentry a narrow saw stretched like a
             bowstring on a light frame.  bow-tie a necktie in the form of a
             bow (sense 1).  bow-window a curved bay window.  two strings to
             one's bow a twofold resource.  [OE boga f. Gmc: cf.  BOW(2)]

   bow(2)    v. & n.  --v.  1 intr. incline the head or trunk, esp. in
             greeting or assent or acknowledgement of applause.  2 intr.
             submit (bowed to the inevitable).  3 tr. cause to incline (bowed
             his head; bowed his will to hers).  4 tr. express (thanks,
             assent, etc.) by bowing (bowed agreement to the plan).  5 tr.
             (foll. by in, out) usher or escort obsequiously (bowed us out of
             the restaurant).  --n. an inclining of the head or body in
             greeting, assent, or in the acknowledgement of applause, etc.
             Ьbow and scrape be obsequious; fawn.  bow down 1 bend or kneel
             in submission or reverence (bowed down before the king).  2
             (usu. in passive) make stoop; crush (was bowed down by care).
             bowing acquaintance a person one acknowledges but does not know
             well enough to speak to.  bow out 1 make one's exit (esp.
             formally).  2 retreat, withdraw; retire gracefully.  make one's
             bow make a formal exit or entrance.  take a bow acknowledge
             applause.  [OE bugan, f. Gmc: cf.  BOW(1)]

   bow(3)    n.  Naut.  1 (often in pl.) the fore-end of a boat or a ship.  2
             = BOWMAN(2).  Ьbow wave a wave set up at the bows of a moving
             ship or in front of a body moving in air.  on the bow within 45ш
             of the point directly ahead.  shot across the bows a warning.
             [LG boog, Du.  boeg, ship's bow, orig. shoulder: see BOUGH]

             v.tr.  (also -ise) expurgate (a book etc.).  ЬЬbowdlerism n.
             bowdlerization n.  [T.  Bowdler (d. 1825), expurgator of

   bowel     n.  1 a the part of the alimentary canal below the stomach.  b
             the intestine.  2 (in pl.) the depths; the innermost parts (the
             bowels of the earth).  Ьbowel movement 1 discharge from the
             bowels; defecation.  2 the faeces discharged from the body.  [ME
             f. OF buel f. L botellus little sausage]

   bower(1)  n. & v.  --n.  1 a a secluded place, esp. in a garden, enclosed
             by foliage; an arbour.  b a summer-house.  2 poet. an inner
             room; a boudoir.  --v.tr.  poet. embower.  ЬЬbowery adj.  [OE
             bur f. Gmc]

   bower(2)  n. (in full bower-anchor) either of two anchors carried at a
             ship's bow.  Ьbest bower the starboard bower.  bower-cable the
             cable attached to a bower-anchor.  small bower the port bower.
             [BOW(3) + -ER(1)]

   bower(3)  n.  either of two cards at euchre and similar games.  Ьleft
             bower the jack of the same colour as the right bower.  right
             bower the jack of trumps.  [G Bauer peasant, jack at cards, rel.
             to Du.  boer: see BOOR]

   bowerbird n.  1 any of various birds of the Ptilonorhyncidae family,
             native to Australia and New Guinea, the males of which construct
             elaborate bowers of feathers, grasses, shells, etc. during
             courtship.  2 a person who collects bric-…-brac.

   bowery    n. (also Bowery) (pl.  -ies) US a district known as a resort of
             drunks and down-and-outs.  [orig. the Bowery, a street in New
             York City, f. Du.  bouwerij farm]

   bowfin    n.  a voracious American freshwater fish, Amia calva.  [BOW(1) +

   bowhead   n.  an Arctic whale, Balaena mysticetus.

   bowie     n. (in full bowie knife) a long knife with a blade double-edged
             at the point, used as a weapon by American pioneers.  [J.
             Bowie, Amer. soldier d. 1836]

   bowl(1)   n.  1 a a usu. round deep basin used for food or liquid.  b the
             quantity (of soup etc.) a bowl holds.  c the contents of a bowl.
             2 a any deep-sided container shaped like a bowl (lavatory bowl).
             b the bowl-shaped part of a tobacco-pipe, spoon, balance, etc.
             3 esp.  US a bowl-shaped region or building, esp. an
             amphitheatre (Hollywood Bowl).  ЬЬbowlful n.  (pl.  -fuls).  [OE
             bolle, bolla, f. Gmc]

   bowl(2)   n. & v.  --n.  1 a a wooden or hard rubber ball, slightly
             asymmetrical so that it runs on a curved course, used in the
             game of bowls.  b a wooden ball or disc used in playing
             skittles.  c a large ball with indents for gripping, used in
             tenpin bowling.  2 (in pl.; usu. treated as sing.) a a game
             played with bowls (sense 1a) on grass.  b tenpin bowling.  c
             skittles.  3 a spell or turn of bowling in cricket.  --v.  1 a
             tr. roll (a ball, a hoop, etc.) along the ground.  b intr. play
             bowls or skittles.  2 tr. (also absol.) Cricket etc. a deliver
             (a ball, an over, etc.) (bowled six overs; bowled well).  b
             (often foll. by out) dismiss (a batsman) by knocking down the
             wicket with a ball (soon bowled him out).  c (often foll. by
             down) knock (a wicket) over.  3 intr. (often foll. by along) go
             along rapidly by revolving, esp. on wheels (the cart bowled
             along the road).  Ьbowl out Cricket dismiss (a batsman or a
             side).  bowl over 1 knock down.  2 colloq.  a impress greatly.
             b overwhelm (bowled over by her energy).  [ME & F boule f. L
             bulla bubble]

   bowler(1) n.  1 Cricket etc. a member of the fielding side who bowls or is
             bowling.  2 a player at bowls.

   bowler(2) n. (in full bowler hat) a man's hard felt hat with a round
             dome-shaped crown.  Ьbowler-hat (-hatted, -hatting) sl.  retire
             (a person) from the army etc. (he's been bowler-hatted).
             [Bowler, a hatter, who designed it in 1850]

   bowline   n.  Naut.  1 a rope attaching the weather side of a square sail
             to the bow.  2 a simple knot for forming a non-slipping loop at
             the end of a rope.  [ME f. MLG boline (as BOW(3), LINE(1))]

   bowling   n.  the game of bowls as a sport or recreation.  Ьbowling-alley
             1 a long enclosure for skittles or tenpin bowling.  2 a building
             containing these.  bowling-crease Cricket the line from behind
             which a bowler delivers the ball.  bowling-green a lawn used for
             playing bowls.

   bowman(1) n.  (pl.  -men) an archer.

   bowman(2) n.  (pl.  -men) the rower nearest the bow of esp. a racing boat.

   bowser    n.  1 a tanker used for fuelling aircraft etc.  2 Austral. & NZ
             a petrol pump.  [trade name, orig. propr.]

   bowshot   n.  the distance to which a bow can send an arrow.

   bowsprit  n.  Naut.  a spar running out from a ship's bow to which the
             forestays are fastened.  [ME f. Gmc (as BOW(3), SPRIT)]

   Bow Street runner
             n.  (also Bow Street officer) hist.  a London policeman.  [Bow
             Street in London, containing the chief metropolitan

   bowstring n. & v.  --n. the string of an archer's bow.  --v.tr. strangle
             with a bowstring (a former Turkish method of execution).

   bow-wow   int. & n.  --int. an imitation of a dog's bark.  --n.  1 colloq.
             a dog.  2 a dog's bark.  [imit.]

   bowyang   n.  Austral. & NZ either of a pair of bands or straps worn round
             the trouser-legs below the knee.  [dial.  bowy-yangs etc.]

   bowyer    n.  a maker or seller of archers' bows.

   box(1)    n. & v.  --n.  1 a container, usu. with flat sides and of firm
             material such as wood or card, esp. for holding solids.  2 a the
             amount that will fill a box.  b Brit. a gift of a kind formerly
             given to tradesmen etc. at Christmas.  3 a separate compartment
             for any of various purposes, e.g.  for a small group in a
             theatre, for witnesses in a lawcourt, for horses in a stable or
             vehicle.  4 an enclosure or receptacle for a special purpose
             (often in comb.  : money box; telephone box).  5 a facility at a
             newspaper office for receiving replies to an advertisement.  6
             (prec. by the) colloq. television; one's television set (what's
             on the box?).  7 an enclosed area or space.  8 a space or area
             of print on a page, enclosed by a border.  9 Brit. a small
             country house for use when shooting, fishing, or for other
             sporting activity.  10 a protective casing for a piece of
             mechanism.  11 a light shield for protecting the genitals in
             sport, esp.  in cricket.  12 (prec. by the) Football colloq. the
             penalty area.  13 Baseball the area occupied by the batter or
             the pitcher.  14 a coachman's seat.  --v.tr.  1 put in or
             provide with a box.  2 (foll. by in, up) confine; restrain from
             movement.  3 (foll. by up) Austral. & NZ mix up (different
             flocks of sheep).  Ьbox camera a simple box-shaped hand camera.
             box the compass Naut.  recite the points of the compass in the
             correct order.  box girder a hollow girder square in
             cross-section.  box junction Brit.  a road area at a junction
             marked with a yellow grid, which a vehicle should enter only if
             its exit from it is clear.  box kite a kite in the form of a
             long box open at each end.  box number a number by which replies
             are made to a private advertisement in a newspaper.  box office
             1 an office for booking seats and buying tickets at a theatre,
             cinema, etc.  2 the commercial aspect of the arts and
             entertainment (often attrib.  : a box-office failure).  box
             pleat a pleat consisting of two parallel creases forming a
             raised band.  box spanner a spanner with a box-shaped end
             fitting over the head of a nut.  box spring each of a set of
             vertical springs housed in a frame, e.g. in a mattress.
             ЬЬboxful n.  (pl.  -fuls).  boxlike adj.  [OE f. LL buxis f. L

   box(2)    v. & n.  --v.  1 a tr. fight (an opponent) at boxing.  b intr.
             practise boxing.  2 slap (esp. a person's ears).  --n. a slap
             with the hand, esp. on the ears.  Ьbox clever colloq.  act in a
             clever or effective way.  [ME: orig. unkn.]

   box(3)    n.  1 any small evergreen tree or shrub of the genus Buxus, esp.
             B. sempervirens, a slow-growing tree with glossy dark green
             leaves which is often used in hedging.  2 its wood, used for
             carving, turning, engraving, etc.  3 any of various trees in
             Australasia which have similar wood or foliage, esp. those of
             several species of Eucalyptus.  4 = BOXWOOD.  Ьbox elder the
             American ash-leaved maple, Acer negundo.  [OE f. L buxus, Gk

   Box and Cox
             n. & v.  --n. (often attrib.) two persons sharing accommodation
             etc., and using it at different times.  --v.intr. share
             accommodation, duties, etc. by a strictly timed arrangement.
             [the names of characters in a play (1847) by J. M. Morton]

   boxcar    n.  US an enclosed railway goods wagon, usu. with sliding doors
             on the sides.

   Boxer     n.  hist.  a member of a fiercely nationalistic Chinese secret
             society that flourished in the 19th c.  [transl. of Chin.  i ho
             chuan, lit. 'righteous harmony fists']

   boxer     n.  1 a person who practises boxing, esp. for sport.  2 a a
             medium-size dog of a breed with a smooth brown coat and puglike
             face.  b this breed.  Ьboxer shorts men's underpants similar to
             shorts worn in boxing, with a shallow curved slit at each side.

   boxing    n.  the practice of fighting with the fists, esp. in padded
             gloves as a sport.  Ьboxing glove each of a pair of heavily
             padded gloves used in boxing.  boxing weight each of a series of
             fixed weight-ranges at which boxers are matched.

   Boxing Day
             n.  the first weekday after Christmas.  [from the custom of
             giving tradesmen gifts or money: see BOX(1) n.  2b]

   boxroom   n.  Brit.  a room or large cupboard for storing boxes, cases,

   boxwood   n.  1 the wood of the box used esp. by engravers for the
             fineness of its grain and for its hardness.  2 = BOX(3) 1.

   boxy      adj.  (boxier, boxiest) reminiscent of a box; (of a room or
             space) very cramped.

   boy       n. & int.  --n.  1 a male child or youth.  2 a young man, esp.
             regarded as not yet mature.  3 a male servant, attendant, etc.
             4 (the boys) colloq. a group of men mixing socially.  --int.
             expressing pleasure, surprise, etc.  Ьboy scout = SCOUT(1) 4.
             boys in blue Brit.  policemen.  ЬЬboyhood n.  boyish adj.
             boyishly adv.  boyishness n.  [ME = servant, perh. ult. f. L
             boia fetter]

   boyar     n.  hist.  a member of the old aristocracy in Russia.  [Russ.
             boyarin grandee]

   boycott   v. & n.  --v.tr.  1 combine in refusing social or commercial
             relations with (a person, group, country, etc.) usu. as
             punishment or coercion.  2 refuse to handle (goods) to this end.
             --n. such a refusal.  [Capt. C. C.  Boycott, Irish land-agent d.
             1897, so treated from 1880]

   boyfriend n.  a person's regular male companion or lover.

   Boyle's law
             n.  the law that the pressure of a given mass of gas is
             inversely proportional to its volume at a constant temperature.
             [Robert Boyle, Irish scientist d. 1691]

   boyo      n.  (pl.  -os) Welsh & Ir.  colloq.  boy, fellow (esp. as a form
             of address).

             n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 a hybrid of several species of bramble.  2 the
             large red edible fruit of this plant.  [R.  Boysen, 20th-c.
             Amer. horticulturalist]

15.0 BP...

   BP        abbr.  1 boiling-point.  2 blood pressure.  3 before the present
             (era).  4 British Petroleum.  5 British Pharmacopoeia.

   Bp.       abbr.  Bishop.

   BPC       abbr.  British Pharmaceutical Codex.

   B.Phil.   abbr.  Bachelor of Philosophy.

16.0 Bq

   Bq        abbr.  becquerel.

17.0 Br...

   BR        abbr.  British Rail.

   Br        symb.  Chem.  the element bromine.

   Br.       abbr.  1 British.  2 Brother.

   bra       n.  (pl.  bras) colloq.  = BRASSI°RE.  [abbr.]

   brace     n. & v.  --n.  1 a device that clamps or fastens tightly.  2 (in
             pl.) Brit. straps supporting trousers from the shoulders.  3 a
             wire device for straightening the teeth.  4 (pl. same) a pair
             (esp. of game).  5 a rope attached to the yard of a ship for
             trimming the sail.  6 a a connecting mark { or } used in
             printing.  b Mus. a similar mark connecting staves to be
             performed at the same time.  --v.tr.  1 fasten tightly, give
             firmness to.  2 make steady by supporting.  3 (esp. as bracing
             adj.) invigorate, refresh.  4 (often refl.) prepare for a
             difficulty, shock, etc.  Ьbrace and bit a revolving tool with a
             D-shaped central handle for boring.  ЬЬbracingly adv.
             bracingness n.  [ME f. OF brace two arms, bracier embrace, f. L
             bra(c)chia arms]

   bracelet  n.  1 an ornamental band, hoop, or chain worn on the wrist or
             arm.  2 sl. a handcuff.  [ME f. OF, dimin. of bracel f. L
             bracchiale f.  bra(c)chium arm]

   bracer    n.  colloq.  a tonic.

   brachial  adj.  1 of or relating to the arm (brachial artery).  2 like an
             arm.  [L brachialis f.  bra(c)chium arm]

   brachiate v. & adj.  --v.intr. (of certain apes and monkeys) move by using
             the arms to swing from branch to branch.  --adj.  Biol.  1
             having arms.  2 having paired branches on alternate sides.
             ЬЬbrachiation n.  brachiator n.  [L bra(c)chium arm]

             n.  any marine invertebrate of the phylum Brachiopoda (esp. a
             fossil one) having a two-valved chalky shell and a ciliated
             feeding arm.  [mod.L f. Gk brakhion arm + pous podos foot]

             n.  any huge plant-eating dinosaur of the genus Brachiosaurus
             with forelegs longer than its hind legs.  [mod.L f. Gk brakhion
             arm + sauros lizard]

             n.  a curve between two points along which a body can move in a
             shorter time than for any other curve.  [Gk brakhistos shortest
             + khronos time]

   brachy-   comb. form short.  [Gk brakhus short]

             adj.  having a broad short head.  ЬЬbrachycephalous adj.
             [BRACHY- + Gk kephale head]

             n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 over-conciseness of expression.  2 an instance
             of this.

   brack     n.  Ir.  cake or bread containing dried fruit etc.  [abbr. of

   bracken   n.  1 any large coarse fern, esp.  Pteridium aquilinum, abundant
             on heaths and moorlands, and in woods.  2 a mass of such ferns.
             Also called BRAKE(5).  [north. ME f. ON]

   bracket   n. & v.  --n.  1 a right-angled or other support attached to and
             projecting from a vertical surface.  2 a shelf fixed with such a
             support to a wall.  3 each of a pair of marks () [] {} used to
             enclose words or figures.  4 a group classified as containing
             similar elements or falling between given limits (income
             bracket).  5 Mil. the distance between two artillery shots fired
             either side of the target to establish range.  --v.tr.
             (bracketed, bracketing) 1 a couple (names etc.) with a brace.  b
             imply a connection or equality between.  2 a enclose in brackets
             as parenthetic or spurious.  b Math. enclose in brackets as
             having specific relations to what precedes or follows.  3 Mil.
             establish the range of (a target) by firing two preliminary
             shots one short of and the other beyond it.  [F braguette or Sp.
             bragueta codpiece, dimin. of F brague f. Prov.  braga f. L
             braca, pl.  bracae breeches]

   brackish  adj.  (of water etc.) slightly salty.  ЬЬbrackishness n.  [obs.
             brack (adj.) f. MLG, MDu.  brac]

   bract     n.  a modified and often brightly coloured leaf, with a flower
             or an inflorescence in its axil.  ЬЬbracteal adj.  bracteate
             adj.  [L bractea thin plate, gold-leaf]

   brad      n.  a thin flat nail with a head in the form of slight
             enlargement at the top.  [var. of ME brod goad, pointed
             instrument, f. ON broddr spike]

   bradawl   n.  a small tool with a pointed end for boring holes by hand.
             [BRAD + AWL]

             n.  Med.  abnormally slow heart-action.  [Gk bradus slow +
             kardia heart]

   brae      n.  Sc.  a steep bank or hillside.  [ME f. ON br  eyelash]

   brag      v. & n.  --v.  (bragged, bragging) 1 intr. talk boastfully.  2
             tr. boast about.  --n.  1 a card-game like poker.  2 a boastful
             statement; boastful talk.  ЬЬbragger n.  braggingly adv.  [ME,
             orig. adj., = spirited, boastful: orig. unkn.]

             n.  empty boasting; a boastful manner of speech and behaviour.
             [Braggadochio, a braggart in Spenser's Faerie Queene, f.  BRAG
             or BRAGGART + It. augment. suffix - occio]

   braggart  n. & adj.  --n. a person given to bragging.  --adj. boastful.
             [F bragard f.  braguer BRAG]

   Brahma    n.  1 the Hindu Creator.  2 the supreme divine reality in Hindu
             belief.  [Skr., = creator]

   Brahman   n. (also brahman) (pl.  -mans) 1 a member of the highest Hindu
             caste, whose members are traditionally eligible for the
             priesthood.  2 = BRAHMA 2.  ЬЬBrahmanic adj.  Brahmanical adj.
             Brahmanism n.  [Skr.  brahmanas f.  brahman priest]

             n.  (also brahma) 1 any bird of a large Asian breed of domestic
             fowl.  2 this breed.  [river Brahmaputra in India, from where it
             was brought]

   Brahmin   n.  1 = BRAHMAN.  2 US a socially or intellectually superior
             person.  [var. of BRAHMAN]

   braid     n. & v.  --n.  1 a woven band of silk or thread used for edging
             or trimming.  2 a length of entwined hair.  --v.tr.  1 plait or
             intertwine (hair or thread).  2 trim or decorate with braid.
             ЬЬbraider n.  [OE bregdan f. Gmc]

   braiding  n.  1 various types of braid collectively.  2 braided work.

   Braille   n. & v.  --n. a system of writing and printing for the blind, in
             which characters are represented by patterns of raised dots.
             --v.tr. print or transcribe in Braille.  [L.  Braille, Fr.
             teacher d. 1852, its inventor]

   brain     n. & v.  --n.  1 an organ of soft nervous tissue contained in
             the skull of vertebrates, functioning as the coordinating centre
             of sensation, and of intellectual and nervous activity.  2 (in
             pl.) the substance of the brain, esp. as food.  3 a a person's
             intellectual capacity (has a poor brain).  b (often in pl.)
             intelligence; high intellectual capacity (has a brain; has
             brains).  4 (in pl.; prec. by the) colloq.  a the cleverest
             person in a group.  b a person who originates a complex plan or
             idea (the brains behind the robbery).  5 an electronic device
             with functions comparable to those of a brain.  --v.tr.  1 dash
             out the brains of.  2 strike hard on the head.  Ьbrain-dead
             suffering from brain death.  brain death irreversible brain
             damage causing the end of independent respiration, regarded as
             indicative of death.  brain drain colloq.  the loss of skilled
             personnel by emigration.  brain fever inflammation of the brain.
             brain-pan colloq.  the skull.  brain stem the central trunk of
             the brain, upon which the cerebrum and cerebellum are set, and
             which continues downwards to form the spinal cord.  brains (US
             brain) trust a group of experts who give impromptu answers to
             questions, usu.  publicly.  brain-teaser (or -twister) colloq.
             a puzzle or problem.  brain trust US a group of expert advisers.
             on the brain colloq.  obsessively in one's thoughts.  [OE br‘gen
             f. WG]

             n.  (pl.  -children) colloq.  an idea, plan, or invention
             regarded as the result of a person's mental effort.

   brainless adj.  stupid, foolish.

             n.  mental ability or intelligence.

             n.  1 a violent or excited outburst often as a result of a
             sudden mental disturbance.  2 colloq. mental confusion.  3 US a
             brainwave.  4 a concerted intellectual treatment of a problem by
             discussing spontaneous ideas about it.  ЬЬbrainstorming n. (in
             sense 4).

   brainwash v.tr.  subject (a person) to a prolonged process by which ideas
             other than and at variance with those already held are implanted
             in the mind.  ЬЬbrainwashing n.

   brainwave n.  1 (usu. in pl.) an electrical impulse in the brain.  2
             colloq. a sudden bright idea.

   brainy    adj.  (brainier, brainiest) intellectually clever or active.
             ЬЬbrainily adv.  braininess n.

   braise    v.tr.  fry lightly and then stew slowly with a little liquid in
             a closed container.  [F braiser f.  braise live coals]

   brake(1)  n. & v.  --n.  1 (often in pl.) a device for checking the motion
             of a mechanism, esp. a wheel or vehicle, or for keeping it at
             rest.  2 anything that has the effect of hindering or impeding
             (shortage of money was a brake on their enthusiasm).  --v.  1
             intr. apply a brake.  2 tr. retard or stop with a brake.  Ьbrake
             block a block used to hold a brake shoe.  brake drum a cylinder
             attached to a wheel on which the brake shoe presses to brake.
             brake fluid fluid used in a hydraulic brake system.  brake
             horsepower the power of an engine reckoned in terms of the force
             needed to brake it.  brake lining a strip of fabric which
             increases the friction of the brake shoe.  brake shoe a long
             curved block which presses on the brake drum to brake.  brake
             van Brit.  a railway coach or vehicle from which the train's
             brakes can be controlled.  ЬЬbrakeless adj.  [prob. obs.  brake
             in sense 'machine-handle, bridle']

   brake(2)  n.  a large estate car.  [var. of BREAK(2)]

   brake(3)  n. & v.  --n.  1 a toothed instrument used for crushing flax and
             hemp.  2 (in full brake harrow) a heavy kind of harrow for
             breaking up large lumps of earth.  --v.tr. crush (flax or hemp)
             by beating it.  [ME, rel. to BREAK(1)]

   brake(4)  n.  1 a thicket.  2 brushwood.  [ME f. OF bracu, MLG brake
             branch, stump]

   brake(5)  n.  bracken.  [ME, perh. shortened f.  BRACKEN, -en being taken
             as a pl. ending]

   brake     (6) archaic past of BREAK(1).

   brakeman  n.  (pl.  -men) 1 US an official on a train, responsible for
             maintenance on a journey.  2 a person in charge of brakes.
             [BRAKE(1) + MAN]

   brakesman n.  (pl.  -men) Brit.  = BRAKEMAN 2.

   bramble   n.  1 any of various thorny shrubs bearing fleshy red or black
             berries, esp. the blackberry bush, Rubus fructicosus.  2 the
             edible berry of these shrubs.  3 any of various other rosaceous
             shrubs with similar foliage, esp. the dog rose (Rosa canina).
             ЬЬbrambly adj.  [OE br‘mbel (earlier br‘mel): see BROOM]

   brambling n.  the speckled finch, Fringilla montifringilla, native to
             northern Eurasia, the male having a distinctive red breast.  [G
             Br„mling f. WG (cf.  BRAMBLE)]

   Bramley   n.  (pl.  -eys) (in full Bramley's seedling) a large green
             variety of cooking apple.  [M.  Bramley, Engl. butcher in whose
             garden it may have first grown c.1850]

   bran      n.  grain husks separated from the flour.  Ьbran-tub Brit.  a
             lucky dip with prizes concealed in bran.  [ME f. OF. of unkn.

   branch    n. & v.  --n.  1 a limb extending from a tree or bough.  2 a
             lateral extension or subdivision, esp. of a river, road, or
             railway.  3 a conceptual extension or subdivision, as of a
             family, knowledge, etc.  4 a local division or office etc. of a
             large business, as of a bank, library, etc.  --v.intr. (often
             foll. by off) 1 diverge from the main part.  2 divide into
             branches.  Ьbranch out extend one's field of interest.
             ЬЬbranched adj.  branchlet n.  branchlike adj.  branchy adj.
             [ME f. OF branche f. LL branca paw]

   branchia  n.pl.  (also branchiae) gills.  ЬЬbranchial adj.  branchiate
             adj.  [L branchia, pl.  -ae, f. Gk bragkhia pl.]

   brand     n. & v.  --n.  1 a a particular make of goods.  b an identifying
             trade mark, label, etc.  2 (usu. foll. by of) a special or
             characteristic kind (brand of humour).  3 an identifying mark
             burned on livestock or (formerly) prisoners etc. with a hot
             iron.  4 an iron used for this.  5 a piece of burning,
             smouldering, or charred wood.  6 a stigma; a mark of disgrace.
             7 poet.  a a torch.  b a sword.  8 a kind of blight, leaving
             leaves with a burnt appearance.  --v.tr.  1 mark with a hot
             iron.  2 stigmatize; mark with disgrace (they branded him a
             liar; was branded for life).  3 impress unforgettably on one's
             mind.  4 assign a trademark or label to.  Ьbrand-new completely
             or obviously new.  ЬЬbrander n.  [OE f. Gmc]

   brandish  v.tr.  wave or flourish as a threat or in display.  ЬЬbrandisher
             n.  [OF brandir ult. f. Gmc, rel. to BRAND]

   brandling n.  a red earthworm, Eisenia foetida, with rings of a brighter
             colour, which is often found in manure and used as bait.  [BRAND
             + -LING(1)]

   brandy    n.  (pl.  -ies) a strong alcoholic spirit distilled from wine or
             fermented fruit juice.  Ьbrandy-ball Brit.  a kind of
             brandy-flavoured sweet.  brandy butter a rich sweet hard sauce
             made with brandy, butter, and sugar.  brandy-snap a crisp rolled
             gingerbread wafer usu. filled with cream.  [earlier brand(e)wine
             f. Du.  brandewijn burnt (distilled) wine]

             n.  the plant Acanthus mollis or A. spinosus, with three-lobed
             flowers and spiny leaves, used as a motif for the Corinthian
             capital. Also called bear's breech (see BEAR(2)).  [F branche
             ursine, med.L branca ursina bear's claw: see BRANCH, URSINE]

   brant     US var. of BRENT.

   brash(1)  adj.  1 vulgarly or ostentatiously self-assertive.  2 hasty,
             rash.  3 impudent.  ЬЬbrashly adv.  brashness n.  [orig. dial.,
             perh. f.  RASH(1)]

   brash(2)  n.  1 loose broken rock or ice.  2 clippings from hedges,
             shrubs, etc.  [18th c.: orig. unkn.]

   brash(3)  n.  an eruption of fluid from the stomach.  [16th c., perh.

   brass     n. & adj.  --n.  1 a yellow alloy of copper and zinc.  2 a an
             ornament or other decorated piece of brass.  b brass objects
             collectively.  3 Mus. brass wind instruments (including trumpet,
             horn, trombone) forming a band or a section of an orchestra.  4
             Brit.  sl. money.  5 (in full horse-brass) a round flat brass
             ornament for the harness of a draught-horse.  6 (in full top
             brass) colloq. persons in authority or of high (esp. military)
             rank.  7 an inscribed or engraved memorial tablet of brass.  8
             colloq. effrontery (then had the brass to demand money).  9 a
             brass block or die used for making a design on a book binding.
             --adj. made of brass.  Ьbrass band a group of musicians playing
             brass instruments, sometimes also with percussion.  brassed off
             sl.  fed up.  brass hat Brit.  colloq.  an officer of high rank,
             usu. one with gold braid on the cap.  brass monkey coarse sl.
             used in various phrases to indicate extreme cold.  brass-rubbing
             1 the rubbing of heelball etc. over paper laid on an engraved
             brass to take an impression of its design.  2 the impression
             obtained by this.  brass tacks sl.  actual details; real
             business (get down to brass tacks).  not a brass farthing
             colloq.  no money or assets at all.  [OE br‘s, of unkn. orig.]

   brassard  n.  a band worn on the sleeve, esp. with a uniform.  [F bras arm
             + -ARD]

   brasserie n.  a restaurant, orig. one serving beer with food.  [F, =

   brassica  n.  any cruciferous plant of the genus Brassica, having tap
             roots and erect branched stems, including cabbage, swede,
             brussel sprout, mustard, rape, cauliflower, kohlrabi, calabrese,
             kale, and turnip.  [L, = cabbage]

   brassie   n.  (also brassy) (pl.  -ies) a wooden-headed golf club with a
             brass sole.

   brassiЉre n.  an undergarment worn by women to support the breasts.  [F, =
             child's vest]

   brassy(1) adj.  (brassier, brassiest) 1 impudent.  2 pretentious, showy.
             3 loud and blaring.  4 of or like brass.  ЬЬbrassily adv.
             brassiness n.

   brassy(2) var. of BRASSIE.

   brat      n.  usu.  derog.  a child, esp. an ill-behaved one.  ЬЬbratty
             adj.  [perh. abbr. of Sc.  bratchart hound, or f.  brat rough

   brattice  n.  a wooden partition or shaft-lining in a coalmine.  [ME ult.
             f. OE brittisc BRITISH]

   bratwurst n.  a type of small German pork sausage.  [G f.  braten fry,
             roast + Wurst sausage]

   bravado   n.  a bold manner or a show of boldness intended to impress.
             [Sp.  bravata f.  bravo: cf.  BRAVE, -ADO]

   brave     adj., n., & v.  --adj.  1 able or ready to face and endure
             danger or pain.  2 formal splendid, spectacular (make a brave
             show).  --n. an American Indian warrior.  --v.tr. defy;
             encounter bravely.  Ьbrave it out behave defiantly under
             suspicion or blame.  ЬЬbravely adv.  braveness n.  [ME f. F,
             ult. f. L barbarus BARBAROUS]

   bravery   n.  1 brave conduct.  2 a brave nature.  [F braverie or It.
             braveria (as BRAVE)]

   bravo(1)  int. & n.  --int. expressing approval of a performer etc.  --n.
             (pl.  -os) a cry of bravo.  [F f. It.]

   bravo(2)  n.  (pl.  -oes or -os) a hired ruffian or killer.  [It.: see

   bravura   n.  (often attrib.) 1 a brilliant or ambitious action or
             display.  2 a a style of (esp. vocal) music requiring
             exceptional ability.  b a passage of this kind.  3 bravado.

   braw      adj.  Sc.  fine, good.  [var. of brawf BRAVE]

   brawl     n. & v.  --n. a noisy quarrel or fight.  --v.intr.  1 quarrel
             noisily or roughly.  2 (of a stream) run noisily.  ЬЬbrawler n.
             [ME f. OProv., rel. to BRAY(1)]

   brawn     n.  1 muscular strength.  2 muscle; lean flesh.  3 Brit. a
             jellied preparation of the chopped meat from a boiled pig's
             head.  [ME f. AF braun, OF braon f. Gmc]

   brawny    adj.  (brawnier, brawniest) muscular, strong.  ЬЬbrawniness n.

   bray(1)   n. & v.  --n.  a the cry of a donkey.  b a sound like this cry,
             e.g. that of a harshly-played brass instrument, a laugh, etc.
             --v.  1 intr. make a braying sound.  2 tr. utter harshly.  [ME
             f. OF braire, perh. ult. f. Celt.]

   bray(2)   v.tr.  archaic pound or crush to small pieces, esp. with a
             pestle and mortar.  [ME f. AF braier, OF breier f. Gmc]

   braze(1)  v. & n.  --v.tr. solder with an alloy of brass and zinc at a
             high temperature.  --n.  1 a brazed joint.  2 the alloy used for
             brazing.  [F braser solder f.  braise live coals]

   braze(2)  v.tr.  1 a make of brass.  b cover or ornament with brass.  2
             make hard like brass.  [OE br‘sen f.  br‘s BRASS]

   brazen    adj. & v.  --adj.  1 (also brazen-faced) flagrant and shameless;
             insolent.  2 made of brass.  3 of or like brass, esp. in colour
             or sound.  --v.tr. (foll. by out) face or undergo defiantly.
             Ьbrazen it out be defiantly unrepentant under censure.
             ЬЬbrazenly adv.  brazenness n.  [OE br‘sen f.  br‘s brass]

             n.  a portable heater consisting of a pan or stand for holding
             lighted coals.  [F brasier f.  braise hot coals]

             n.  a worker in brass.  ЬЬbraziery n.  [ME prob. f.  BRASS +
             -IER, after glass, glazier]

   Brazil    n.  1 a a lofty tree, Bertholletia excelsa, forming large
             forests in S. America.  b (in full Brazil nut) a large
             three-sided nut with an edible kernel from this tree.  2 (in
             full Brazil-wood) a hard red wood from any tropical tree of the
             genus Caesalpina, that yields dyes.  [the name of a S.Amer.
             country, named from Brazil-wood, ult. f. med.L brasilium]

   BRCS      abbr.  British Red Cross Society.

   breach    n. & v.  --n.  1 (often foll. by of) the breaking of or failure
             to observe a law, contract, etc.  2 a a breaking of relations;
             an estrangement.  b a quarrel.  3 a a broken state.  b a gap,
             esp. one made by artillery in fortifications.  --v.tr.  1 break
             through; make a gap in.  2 break (a law, contract, etc.).
             Ьbreach of the peace an infringement or violation of the public
             peace by any disturbance or riot etc.  breach of promise the
             breaking of a promise, esp. a promise to marry.  stand in the
             breach bear the brunt of an attack.  step into the breach give
             help in a crisis, esp. by replacing someone who has dropped out.
             [ME f. OF breche, ult. f. Gmc]

   bread     n. & v.  --n.  1 baked dough made of flour usu. leavened with
             yeast and moistened, eaten as a staple food.  2 a necessary
             food.  b (also daily bread) one's livelihood.  3 sl. money.
             --v.tr. coat with breadcrumbs for cooking.  Ьbread and butter 1
             bread spread with butter.  2 a one's livelihood.  b routine work
             to ensure an income.  bread-and-butter letter a letter of thanks
             for hospitality.  bread and circuses the public provision of
             subsistence and entertainment.  bread and wine the Eucharist.
             bread basket 1 a basket for bread or rolls.  2 sl. the stomach.
             bread bin a container for keeping bread in.  bread sauce a white
             sauce thickened with breadcrumbs.  cast one's bread upon the
             waters do good without expecting gratitude or reward.  know
             which side one's bread is buttered know where one's advantage
             lies.  take the bread out of a person's mouth take away a
             person's living, esp. by competition etc.  [OE bread f. Gmc]

             n.  1 a board for cutting bread on.  2 a board for making an
             experimental model of an electric circuit.

             n.  1 a small fragment of bread.  2 (in pl.) bread crumbled for
             use in cooking.

             n.  1 a tropical evergreen tree, Artocarpus altilis, bearing
             edible usu. seedless fruit.  2 the fruit of this tree which when
             roasted becomes soft like new bread.

   breadline n.  1 subsistence level (esp. on the breadline).  2 US a queue
             of people waiting to receive free food.

   breadth   n.  1 the distance or measurement from side to side of a thing;
             broadness.  2 a piece (of cloth etc.) of standard or full
             breadth.  3 extent, distance, room.  4 (usu. foll. by of)
             capacity to respect other opinions; freedom from prejudice or
             intolerance (esp. breadth of mind or view).  5 Art unity of the
             whole, achieved by the disregard of unnecessary details.
             ЬЬbreadthways adv.  breadthwise adv.  [obs.  brede, OE br‘du, f.
             Gmc, rel. to BROAD]

             n.  a person who earns the money to support a family.

   break(1)  v. & n.  --v.  (past broke or archaic brake; past part.  broken
             or archaic broke) 1 tr. & intr.  a separate into pieces under a
             blow or strain; shatter.  b make or become inoperative, esp.
             from damage (the toaster has broken).  c break a bone in or
             dislocate (part of the body).  d break the skin of (the head or
             crown).  2 a tr. cause or effect an interruption in (broke our
             journey; the spell was broken; broke the silence).  b intr. have
             an interval between spells of work (let's break now; we broke
             for tea).  3 tr. fail to observe or keep (a law, promise, etc.).
             4 a tr. & intr. make or become subdued or weakened; yield or
             cause to yield (broke his spirit; he broke under the strain).  b
             tr. weaken the effect of (a fall, blow, etc.).  c tr. = break in
             3c.  d tr. defeat, destroy (broke the enemy's power).  e tr.
             defeat the object of (a strike, e.g. by engaging other
             personnel).  5 tr. surpass (a record).  6 intr. (foll. by with)
             quarrel or cease association with (another person etc.).  7 tr.
             a be no longer subject to (a habit).  b (foll. by of) cause (a
             person) to be free of a habit (broke them of their addiction).
             8 tr. & intr. reveal or be revealed; (cause to) become known
             (broke the news; the story broke on Friday).  9 intr.  a (of the
             weather) change suddenly, esp. after a fine spell.  b (of waves)
             curl over and dissolve into foam.  c (of the day) dawn.  d (of
             clouds) move apart; show a gap.  e (of a storm) begin violently.
             10 tr.  Electr. disconnect (a circuit).  11 intr.  a (of the
             voice) change with emotion.  b (of a boy's voice) change in
             register etc. at puberty.  12 tr.  a (often foll. by up) divide
             (a set etc.) into parts, e.g. by selling to different buyers.  b
             change (a banknote etc.) for coins.  13 tr. ruin (an individual
             or institution) financially (see also BROKE adj.).  14 tr.
             penetrate (e.g. a safe) by force.  15 tr. decipher (a code).  16
             tr. make (a way, path, etc.) by separating obstacles.  17 intr.
             burst forth (the sun broke through the clouds).  18 Mil.  a
             intr. (of troops) disperse in confusion.  b tr. make a rupture
             in (ranks).  19 a intr. (usu. foll. by free, loose, out, etc.)
             escape from constraint by a sudden effort.  b tr. escape or
             emerge from (prison, bounds, cover, etc.).  20 tr.  Tennis etc.
             win a game against (an opponent's service).  21 intr.  Boxing
             etc. (of two fighters, usu. at the referee's command) come out
             of a clinch.  22 Mil.  tr. demote (an officer).  23 intr.  esp.
             Stock Exch. (of prices) fall sharply.  24 intr.  Cricket (of a
             bowled ball) change direction on bouncing.  25 intr.  Billiards
             etc. disperse the balls at the beginning of a game.  26 tr.
             unfurl (a flag etc.).  27 tr.  Phonet. subject (a vowel) to
             fracture.  28 tr. fail to rejoin (one's ship) after absence on
             leave.  29 tr. disprove (an alibi).  --n.  1 a an act or
             instance of breaking.  b a point where something is broken; a
             gap.  2 an interval, an interruption; a pause in work.  3 a
             sudden dash (esp. to escape).  4 colloq.  a a piece of good
             luck; a fair chance.  b (also bad break) an unfortunate remark
             or action, a blunder.  5 Cricket a change in direction of a
             bowled ball on bouncing.  6 Billiards etc. a a series of points
             scored during one turn.  b the opening shot that disperses the
             balls.  7 Mus. (in jazz) a short unaccompanied passage for a
             soloist, usu.  improvised.  8 Electr. a discontinuity in a
             circuit.  Ьbad break colloq.  1 a piece of bad luck.  2 a
             mistake or blunder.  break away make or become free or separate
             (see also BREAKAWAY).  break the back of 1 do the hardest or
             greatest part of.  2 overburden (a person).  break bulk see
             BULK.  break crop a crop grown to avoid the continual growing of
             cereals.  break-dancing an energetic style of street-dancing,
             developed by US Blacks.  break down 1 a fail in mechanical
             action; cease to function.  b (of human relationships etc.)
             fail, collapse.  c fail in (esp. mental) health.  d be overcome
             by emotion; collapse in tears.  2 a demolish, destroy.  b
             suppress (resistance).  c force (a person) to yield under
             pressure.  3 analyse into components (see also BREAKDOWN).
             break even emerge from a transaction etc. with neither profit
             nor loss.  break a person's heart see HEART.  break the ice 1
             begin to overcome formality or shyness, esp. between strangers.
             2 make a start.  break in 1 enter premises by force, esp. with
             criminal intent.  2 interrupt.  3 a accustom to a habit etc.  b
             wear etc. until comfortable.  c tame or discipline (an animal);
             accustom (a horse) to saddle and bridle etc.  4 Austral. & NZ
             bring (virgin land) into cultivation.  break-in n.  an illegal
             forced entry into premises, esp. with criminal intent.  breaking
             and entering (formerly) the illegal entering of a building with
             intent to commit a felony.  breaking-point the point of greatest
             strain, at which a thing breaks or a person gives way.  break in
             on disturb; interrupt.  break into 1 enter forcibly or
             violently.  2 a suddenly begin, burst forth with (a song,
             laughter, etc.).  b suddenly change one's pace for (a faster
             one) (broke into a gallop).  3 interrupt.  break-line Printing
             the last line of a paragraph (usu. not of full length).  break
             of day dawn.  break off 1 detach by breaking.  2 bring to an
             end.  3 cease talking etc.  break open open forcibly.  break out
             1 escape by force, esp. from prison.  2 begin suddenly; burst
             forth (then violence broke out).  3 (foll. by in) become covered
             in (a rash etc.).  4 exclaim.  5 release (a run-up flag).  6 US
             a open up (a receptacle) and remove its contents.  b remove
             (articles) from a place of storage.  break-out n.  a forcible
             escape.  break point 1 a place or time at which an interruption
             or change is made.  2 Computing (usu.  breakpoint) a place in a
             computer program where the sequence of instructions is
             interrupted, esp. by another program.  3 a (in lawn tennis) a
             point which would win the game for the player(s) receiving
             service.  b the situation at which the receiver(s) may break
             service by winning such a point.  4 = breaking-point.  break
             step get out of step.  break up 1 break into small pieces.  2
             disperse; disband.  3 end the school term.  4 a terminate a
             relationship; disband.  b cause to do this.  5 (of the weather)
             change suddenly (esp. after a fine spell).  6 esp.  US a upset
             or be upset.  b excite or be excited.  c convulse or be
             convulsed (see also BREAKUP).  break wind release gas from the
             anus.  break one's word see WORD.  [OE brecan f. Gmc]

   break(2)  n.  1 a carriage-frame without a body, for breaking in young
             horses.  2 = BRAKE(2).  [perh. = brake framework: 17th c., of
             unkn. orig.]

   breakable adj. & n.  --adj. that may or is apt to be broken easily.  --n.
             (esp. in pl.) a breakable thing.

   breakage  n.  1 a a broken thing.  b damage caused by breaking.  2 an act
             or instance of breaking.

   breakaway n.  1 the act or an instance of breaking away or seceding.  2
             (attrib.) that breaks away or has broken away; separate.  3
             Austral. a stampede, esp. at the sight or smell of water.  4 a
             false start in a race.  5 Rugby Football an outside second-row

   breakdown n.  1 a a mechanical failure.  b a loss of (esp. mental) health
             and strength.  2 a collapse or disintegration (breakdown of
             communication).  3 a detailed analysis (of statistics etc.).

   breaker   n.  1 a person or thing that breaks something, esp. disused
             machinery.  2 a person who breaks in a horse.  3 a heavy wave
             that breaks.

   breakfast n. & v.  --n. the first meal of the day.  --v.intr. have
             breakfast.  ЬЬbreakfaster n.  [BREAK(1) interrupt + FAST(2)]

   breakneck adj.  (of speed) dangerously fast.

             n.  1 a major advance or discovery.  2 an act of breaking
             through an obstacle etc.

   breakup   n.  1 disintegration, collapse.  2 dispersal.

             n.  a barrier built out into the sea to break the force of

   bream(1)  n.  (pl. same) 1 a yellowish arch-backed freshwater fish,
             Abramis brama.  2 (in full sea bream) a similarly shaped marine
             fish of the family Sparidae.  [ME f. OF bre(s)me f. WG]

   bream(2)  v.tr.  Naut.  hist.  clean (a ship's bottom) by burning and
             scraping.  [prob. f. LG: rel. to BROOM]

   breast    n. & v.  --n.  1 a either of two milk-secreting organs on the
             upper front of a woman's body.  b the corresponding usu.
             rudimentary part of a man's body.  2 a the upper front part of a
             human body; the chest.  b the corresponding part of an animal.
             3 the part of a garment that covers the breast.  4 the breast as
             a source of nourishment or emotion.  --v.tr.  1 face, meet in
             full opposition (breast the wind).  2 contend with (breast it
             out against difficulties).  3 reach the top of (a hill).
             Ьbreast-feed (past and past part.  -fed) feed (a baby) from the
             breast.  breast-high as high as the breast; submerged to the
             breast.  breast-pin a brooch etc. worn on the breast.
             breast-stroke a stroke made while swimming on the breast by
             extending arms forward and sweeping them back in unison.  breast
             the tape see TAPE.  make a clean breast of confess fully.
             ЬЬbreasted adj. (also in comb.).  breastless adj.  [OE breost f.

             n.  a thin flat vertical bone and cartilage in the chest
             connecting the ribs.

             n.  a piece of armour covering the breast.

             n.  Archit.  a beam across a broad opening, sustaining a
             superstructure.  [BREAST + SUMMER(2)]

             n.  a low temporary defence or parapet.

   breath    n.  1 a the air taken into or expelled from the lungs.  b one
             respiration of air.  c an exhalation of air that can be seen,
             smelt, or heard (breath steamed in the cold air; bad breath).  2
             a a slight movement of air; a breeze.  b a whiff of perfume etc.
             3 a whisper, a murmur (esp. of a scandalous nature).  4 the
             power of breathing; life (is there breath in him?).  Ьbelow (or
             under) one's breath in a whisper.  breath of fresh air 1 a small
             amount of or a brief time in the fresh air.  2 a refreshing
             change.  breath of life a necessity.  breath test Brit.  a test
             of a person's alcohol consumption, using a breathalyser.  catch
             one's breath 1 cease breathing momentarily in surprise,
             suspense, etc.  2 rest after exercise to restore normal
             breathing.  draw breath breathe; live.  hold one's breath cease
             breathing temporarily.  in the same breath (esp. of saying two
             contradictory things) within a short time.  out of breath
             gasping for air, esp. after exercise.  take breath pause for
             rest.  take one's breath away astound; surprise; awe; delight.
             waste one's breath talk or give advice without effect.  [OE
             br‘th f. Gmc]

             n.  (also Breathalyzer) Brit.  propr.  an instrument for
             measuring the amount of alcohol in the breath (and hence in the
             blood) of a driver.  ЬЬbreathalyse v.tr.  (also -lyze).  [BREATH
             + ANALYSE + -ER(1)]

   breathe   v.  1 intr. take air into and expel it from the lungs.  2 intr.
             be or seem alive (is she breathing?).  3 tr.  a utter; say (esp.
             quietly) (breathed her forgiveness).  b express; display
             (breathed defiance).  4 intr. take breath, pause.  5 tr. send
             out or take in (as if) with breathed air (breathed new life into
             them; breathed whisky).  6 intr. (of wine, fabric, etc.) be
             exposed to fresh air.  7 intr.  a sound, speak (esp. quietly).
             b (of wind) blow softly.  8 tr. allow (a horse etc.) to breathe;
             give rest after exertion.  Ьbreathe again (or freely) recover
             from a shock, fear, etc., and be at ease.  breathe down a
             person's neck follow or check up on a person, esp. menacingly.
             breathe one's last die.  breathe upon tarnish, taint.  not
             breathe a word of keep quite secret.  [ME f.  BREATH]

   breather  n.  1 colloq.  a a brief pause for rest.  b a short spell of
             exercise.  2 a safety-vent in the crankcase of a motor vehicle

   breathing n.  Phonet.  1 the process of taking air into and expelling it
             from the lungs.  2 a sign in Greek indicating that an initial
             vowel or rho is aspirated (rough breathing) or not aspirated
             (smooth breathing).  Ьbreathing-space time to breathe; a pause.

             adj.  1 panting, out of breath.  2 holding the breath because of
             excitement, suspense, etc.  (a state of breathless expectancy).
             3 unstirred by wind; still.  ЬЬbreathlessly adv.  breathlessness

             adj.  astounding; awe-inspiring.  ЬЬbreathtakingly adv.

   breathy   adj.  (breathier, breathiest) (of a singing-voice etc.)
             containing the sound of breathing.  ЬЬbreathily adv.
             breathiness n.

   breccia   n. & v.  --n. a rock of angular stones etc. cemented by finer
             material.  --v.tr. form into breccia.  ЬЬbrecciate v.tr.
             brecciation n.  [It., = gravel, f. Gmc, rel. to BREAK(1)]

   bred      past and past part. of BREED.

   breech    n. & v.  --n.  1 a the part of a cannon behind the bore.  b the
             back part of a rifle or gun barrel.  2 archaic the buttocks.
             --v.tr.  archaic put (a boy) into breeches after being in
             petticoats since birth.  Ьbreech birth (or delivery) the
             delivery of a baby with the buttocks or feet foremost.
             breech-block a metal block which closes the breech aperture in a
             gun.  breech-loader a gun loaded at the breech, not through the
             muzzle.  breech-loading (of a gun) loaded at the breech, not
             through the muzzle.  [OE broc, pl.  brec (treated as sing. in
             ME), f. Gmc]

   breeches  n.pl.  (also pair of breeches sing.) 1 short trousers, esp.
             fastened below the knee, now used esp.  for riding or in court
             costume.  2 colloq. any trousers, knickerbockers, or underpants.
             ЬBreeches Bible the Geneva Bible of 1560 with breeches for
             aprons in Gen. 3:7.  breeches buoy a lifebuoy suspended from a
             rope which has canvas breeches for the user's legs.  [pl. of

   breed     v. & n.  --v.  (past and past part.  bred) 1 tr. & intr. bear,
             generate (offspring).  2 tr. & intr. propagate or cause to
             propagate; raise (livestock).  3 tr.  a yield, produce; result
             in (war breeds famine).  b spread (discontent bred by rumour).
             4 intr. arise; spread (disease breeds in the Tropics).  5 tr.
             bring up; train (bred to the law; Hollywood breeds stars).  6
             tr.  Physics create (fissile material) by nuclear reaction.
             --n.  1 a stock of animals or plants within a species, having a
             similar appearance, and usu. developed by deliberate selection.
             2 a race; a lineage.  3 a sort, a kind.  Ьbred and born = born
             and bred.  bred in the bone hereditary.  breeder reactor a
             nuclear reactor that can create more fissile material than it
             consumes.  breed in mate with or marry near relations.
             ЬЬbreeder n.  [OE bredan: rel. to BROOD]

   breeding  n.  1 the process of developing or propagating (animals, plants,
             etc.).  2 generation; childbearing.  3 the result of training or
             education; behaviour.  4 good manners (as produced by an
             aristocratic heredity) (has no breeding).

   breeks    n.pl.  Sc.  var. of BREECHES.

   breeze(1) n. & v.  --n.  1 a gentle wind.  2 Meteorol. a wind of 4-31
             m.p.h. and between force 2 and force 6 on the Beaufort scale.  3
             a wind blowing from land at night or sea during the day.  4 esp.
             Brit.  colloq. a quarrel or display of temper.  5 esp.  US
             colloq. an easy task.  --v.intr. (foll. by in, out, along, etc.)
             colloq. come or go in a casual or lighthearted manner.  [prob.
             f. OSp. & Port.  briza NE wind]

   breeze(2) n.  small cinders.  Ьbreeze-block any lightweight building
             block, esp. one made from breeze mixed with sand and cement.  [F
             braise live coals]

   breeze(3) n.  a gadfly or cleg.  [OE briosa, of unkn. orig.]

   breezy    adj.  (breezier, breeziest) 1 a windswept.  b pleasantly windy.
             2 colloq. lively; jovial.  3 colloq. careless (with breezy
             indifference).  ЬЬbreezily adv.  breeziness n.

             n.  Physics the electromagnetic radiation produced by the
             acceleration or esp. the deceleration of a charged particle
             after passing through the electric and magnetic fields of a
             nucleus.  [G, = braking radiation]

   Bren      n. (in full Bren gun) a lightweight quick-firing machine-gun.
             [Brno in Czechoslovakia (where orig. made) + Enfield in England
             (where later made)]

   brent     n.  (US brant) (in full brent-goose) a small migratory goose,
             Branta bernicla.  [16th c.: orig. unkn.]

   brethren  see BROTHER.

   Breton    n. & adj.  --n.  1 a native of Brittany.  2 the Celtic language
             of Brittany.  --adj. of or relating to Brittany or its people or
             language.  [OF, = BRITON]

   bretzel   var. of PRETZEL.

   breve     n.  1 Mus. a note, now rarely used, having the time value of two
             semibreves.  2 a written or printed mark indicating a short or
             unstressed vowel.  3 hist. an authoritative letter from a
             sovereign or pope.  [ME var. of BRIEF]

   brevet    n. & v.  --n. (often attrib.) a document conferring a privilege
             from a sovereign or government, esp. a rank in the army, without
             the appropriate pay (was promoted by brevet; brevet major).
             --v.tr.  (breveted, breveting or brevetted, brevetting) confer
             brevet rank on.  [ME f. OF dimin. of bref BRIEF]

   breviary  n.  (pl.  -ies) RC Ch.  a book containing the service for each
             day, to be recited by those in orders.  [L breviarium summary f.
             breviare abridge: see ABBREVIATE]

   brevity   n.  1 economy of expression; conciseness.  2 shortness (of time
             etc.) (the brevity of happiness).  [AF brevet‚, OF brievet‚ f.
             bref BRIEF]

   brew      v. & n.  --v.  1 tr.  a make (beer etc.) by infusion, boiling,
             and fermentation.  b make (tea etc.) by infusion or (punch etc.)
             by mixture.  2 intr. undergo either of these processes (the tea
             is brewing).  3 intr. (of trouble, a storm, etc.) gather force;
             threaten (mischief was brewing).  4 tr. bring about; set in
             train; concoct (brewed their fiendish scheme).  --n.  1 an
             amount (of beer etc.) brewed at one time (this year's brew).  2
             what is brewed (esp. with regard to its quality) (a good strong
             brew).  3 the action or process of brewing.  Ьbrew up make tea.
             brew-up n.  an instance of making tea.  ЬЬbrewer n.  [OE breowan
             f. Gmc]

   brewery   n.  (pl.  -ies) a place where beer etc. is brewed commercially.

   briar(1)  var. of BRIER(1).

   briar(2)  var. of BRIER(2).

   bribe     v. & n.  --v.tr. (often foll. by to + infin.) persuade (a person
             etc.) to act improperly in one's favour by a gift of money,
             services, etc. (bribed the guard to release the suspect).  --n.
             money or services offered in the process of bribing.  ЬЬbribable
             adj.  briber n.  bribery n.  [ME f. OF briber, brimber beg, of
             unkn. orig.]

             n.  (also bric-a-brac, bricabrac) miscellaneous, often old,
             ornaments, trinkets, furniture, etc., of no great value.  [F f.
             obs.  … bric et … brac at random]

   brick     n., v., & adj.  --n.  1 a a small, usu. rectangular, block of
             fired or sun-dried clay, used in building.  b the material used
             to make these.  c a similar block of concrete etc.  2 Brit. a
             child's toy building-block.  3 a brick-shaped solid object (a
             brick of ice-cream).  4 sl. a generous or loyal person.  --v.tr.
             (foll. by in, up) close or block with brickwork.  --adj.  1
             built of brick (brick wall).  2 of a dull red colour.  Ьbang (or
             knock or run) one's head against a brick wall attempt the
             impossible.  brick-field a place at which bricks are made.
             brick-red the colour of bricks.  like a load (or ton) of bricks
             colloq.  with crushing weight, force, or authority.  see through
             a brick wall have miraculous insight.  ЬЬbricky adj.  [ME f.
             MLG, MDu.  bri(c)ke, of unkn. orig.]

   brickbat  n.  1 a piece of brick, esp. when used as a missile.  2 an
             uncomplimentary remark.

             n.  Austral.  a hot, dry north wind.

   brickie   n.  sl.  a bricklayer.

             n.  a worker who builds with bricks.  ЬЬbricklaying n.

   brickwork n.  1 building in brick.  2 a wall, building, etc. made of

   brickyard n.  a place where bricks are made.

   bridal    adj.  of or concerning a bride or a wedding.  ЬЬbridally adv.
             [orig. as noun, = wedding-feast, f. OE bryd-ealu f.  bryd BRIDE
             + ealu ale-drinking]

   bride     n.  a woman on her wedding day and for some time before and
             after it.  Ьbride-cake a wedding cake.  bride-price money or
             goods given to a bride's family esp. in primitive societies.
             [OE bryd f. Gmc]

             n.  a man on his wedding day and for some time before and after
             it.  [OE brydguma (as BRIDE, guma man, assim. to GROOM)]

             n.  a girl or unmarried woman attending a bride on her wedding
             day.  [earlier bridemaid, f.  BRIDE + MAID]

   bridewell n.  archaic a prison; a reformatory.  [St Bride's Well in
             London, near which such a building stood]

   bridge(1) n. & v.  --n.  1 a a structure carrying a road, path, railway,
             etc., across a stream, ravine, road, railway, etc.  b anything
             providing a connection between different things (English is a
             bridge between nations).  2 the superstructure on a ship from
             which the captain and officers direct operations.  3 the upper
             bony part of the nose.  4 Mus. an upright piece of wood on a
             violin etc. over which the strings are stretched.  5 =
             BRIDGEWORK.  6 Billiards etc. a a long stick with a structure at
             the end which is used to support a cue for a difficult shot.  b
             a support for a cue formed by a raised hand.  7 = land-bridge.
             --v.tr.  1 a be a bridge over (a fallen tree bridges the
             stream).  b make a bridge over; span.  2 span as if with a
             bridge (bridged their differences with understanding).  Ьbridge
             of asses = pons asinorum.  bridge of boats a bridge formed by
             mooring boats together abreast across a river etc.  bridge
             passage Mus.  a transitional piece between main themes.
             bridging loan a loan from a bank etc. to cover the short
             interval between buying a house etc. and selling another.  cross
             a (or that) bridge when one comes to it deal with a problem when
             and if it arises.  ЬЬbridgeable adj.  [OE brycg f. Gmc]

   bridge(2) n.  a card-game derived from whist, in which one player's cards
             are exposed and are played by his or her partner (cf.  auction
             bridge, contract bridge).  Ьbridge roll a small soft bread roll.
             [19th c.: orig. unkn.]

             n.  Mil.  a fortified position held on the enemy's side of a
             river or other obstacle.

             n.  Dentistry a dental structure used to cover a gap, joined to
             and supported by the teeth on either side.

   bridle    n. & v.  --n.  1 a the headgear used to control a horse,
             consisting of buckled leather straps, a metal bit, and reins.  b
             a restraining thing or influence (put a bridle on your tongue).
             2 Naut. a mooring-cable.  3 Physiol. a ligament checking the
             motion of a part.  --v.  1 tr. put a bridle on (a horse etc.).
             2 tr. bring under control; curb.  3 intr. (often foll. by up)
             express offence, resentment, etc., esp. by throwing up the head
             and drawing in the chin.  Ьbridle-path (or -road or -way) a
             rough path or road fit only for riders or walkers, not vehicles.
             [OE bridel]

   bridoon   n.  the snaffle and rein of a military bridle.  [F bridon f.
             bride bridle]

   Brie      n.  a kind of soft cheese.  [Brie in N. France]

   brief     adj., n., & v.  --adj.  1 of short duration.  2 concise in
             expression.  3 abrupt, brusque (was rather brief with me).  4
             scanty; lacking in substance (wearing a brief skirt).  --n.  1
             (in pl.) a women's brief pants.  b men's brief underpants.  2
             Law a a summary of the facts and legal points of a case drawn up
             for counsel.  b a piece of work for a barrister.  3 instructions
             given for a task, operation, etc. (orig. a bombing plan given to
             an aircrew).  4 RC Ch. a letter from the Pope to a person or
             community on a matter of discipline.  --v.tr.  1 Brit.  Law
             instruct (a barrister) by brief.  2 instruct (an employee, a
             participant, etc.) in preparation for a task; inform or instruct
             thoroughly in advance (briefed him for the interview) (cf.
             DEBRIEF).  Ьbe brief use few words.  hold a brief for 1 argue in
             favour of.  2 be retained as counsel for.  in brief in short.
             watching brief 1 a brief held by a barrister following a case
             for a client not directly involved.  2 a state of interest
             maintained in a proceeding not directly or immediately
             concerning one.  ЬЬbriefly adv.  briefness n.  [ME f. AF bref,
             OF brief, f. L brevis short]

   briefcase n.  a flat rectangular case for carrying documents etc.

   briefing  n.  1 a meeting for giving information or instructions.  2 the
             information or instructions given; a brief.  3 the action of
             informing or instructing.

   briefless adj.  Law (of a barrister) having no clients.

   brier(1)  n.  (also briar) any prickly bush esp. of a wild rose.
             Ьbrier-rose dog-rose.  sweet-brier a wild rose, Rosa eglanteria,
             with small fragrant leaves and flowers.  ЬЬbriery adj.  [OE
             br‘r, brer, of unkn. orig.]

   brier(2)  n.  (also briar) 1 a white heath, Erica arborea, native to S.
             Europe.  2 a tobacco pipe made from its root.  [19th-c.  bruyer
             f. F bruyЉre heath]

   Brig.     abbr.  Brigadier.

   brig(1)   n.  1 a two-masted square-rigged ship, with an additional lower
             fore-and-aft sail on the gaff and a boom to the mainmast.  2 US
             a prison, esp. on a warship.  [abbr. of BRIGANTINE]

   brig(2)   n.  Sc. & N.Engl.  var. of BRIDGE(1).

   brigade   n. & v.  --n.  1 Mil.  a a subdivision of an army.  b a British
             infantry unit consisting usu. of 3 battalions and forming part
             of a division.  c a corresponding armoured unit.  2 an organized
             or uniformed band of workers (fire brigade).  3 colloq. any
             group of people with a characteristic in common (the
             couldn't-care-less brigade).  --v.tr. form into a brigade.  [F
             f. It.  brigata company f.  brigare be busy with f.  briga

   brigadier n.  Mil.  1 an officer commanding a brigade.  2 a a staff
             officer of similar standing, above a colonel and below a
             major-general.  b the titular rank granted to such an officer.
             Ьbrigadier general US an officer ranking next above colonel.  [F
             (as BRIGADE, -IER)]

   brigalow  n.  Austral.  any of various acacia trees, esp.  Acacia
             harpophylla.  [Aboriginal]

   brigand   n.  a member of a robber band living by pillage and ransom, usu.
             in wild terrain.  ЬЬbrigandage n.  brigandish adj.  brigandism
             n.  brigandry n.  [ME f. OF f. It.  brigante f.  brigare: see

             n.  a two-masted sailing-ship with a square-rigged foremast and
             a fore-and-aft rigged mainmast.  [OF brigandine or It.
             brigantino f.  brigante BRIGAND]

   bright    adj. & adv.  --adj.  1 emitting or reflecting much light;
             shining.  2 (of colour) intense, vivid.  3 clever, talented,
             quick-witted (a bright idea; a bright child).  4 cheerful,
             vivacious.  --adv. esp.  poet. brightly (the moon shone bright).
             Ьbright and early very early in the morning.  bright-eyed and
             bushy-tailed colloq.  alert and sprightly.  the bright lights
             the glamour and excitement of the city.  look on the bright side
             be optimistic.  ЬЬbrightish adj.  brightly adv.  brightness n.
             [OE beorht, (adv.)  beorhte, f. Gmc]

   brighten  v.tr. & intr.  1 make or become brighter.  2 make or become more

   Bright's disease
             n.  inflammation of the kidney from any of various causes;
             nephritis.  [R.  Bright, Engl. physician d. 1858]

   brill(1)  n.  a European flat-fish, Scophthalmus rhombus, resembling a
             turbot.  [15th c.: orig. unkn.]

   brill(2)  adj.  colloq. = BRILLIANT adj.  4.  [abbr.]

             n.  (also brilliancy) 1 great brightness; sparkling or radiant
             quality.  2 outstanding talent or intelligence.

             var. of BRILLIANCE.

   brilliant adj. & n.  --adj.  1 very bright; sparkling.  2 outstandingly
             talented or intelligent.  3 showy; outwardly impressive.  4
             colloq. excellent, superb.  --n. a diamond of the finest cut
             with many facets.  ЬЬbrilliantly adv.  [F brillant part. of
             briller shine f. It.  brillare, of unkn. orig.]

             n.  1 an oily liquid dressing for making the hair glossy.  2 US
             a lustrous dress fabric.  [F brillantine (as BRILLIANT)]

   brim      n. & v.  --n.  1 the edge or lip of a cup or other vessel, or of
             a hollow.  2 the projecting edge of a hat.  --v.tr. & intr.
             (brimmed, brimming) fill or be full to the brim.  Ьbrim over
             overflow.  ЬЬbrimless adj.  brimmed adj. (usu. in comb.).  [ME
             brimme, of unkn. orig.]

   brim-full adj.  (also brimful) (often foll. by of) filled to the brim.

   brimstone n.  1 archaic the element sulphur.  2 a butterfly, Gonepteryx
             rhamni, or moth, Opisthograptis luteolata, having yellow wings.
             [ME prob. f. OE bryne burning + STONE]

   brindled  adj.  (also brindle) brownish or tawny with streaks of other
             colour (esp. of domestic animals).  [earlier brinded, brended f.
             brend, perh. of Scand. orig.]

   brine     n. & v.  --n.  1 water saturated or strongly impregnated with
             salt.  2 sea water.  --v.tr. soak in or saturate with brine.
             [OE brine, of unkn. orig.]

   bring     v.tr.  (past and past part.  brought) 1 a come conveying esp. by
             carrying or leading.  b come with.  2 cause to come or be
             present (what brings you here?).  3 cause or result in (war
             brings misery).  4 be sold for; produce as income.  5 a prefer
             (a charge).  b initiate (legal action).  6 cause to become or to
             reach a particular state (brings me alive; brought them to their
             senses; cannot bring myself to agree).  7 adduce (evidence, an
             argument, etc.).  Ьbring about 1 cause to happen.  2 turn (a
             ship) around.  bring-and-buy sale Brit.  a kind of charity sale
             at which participants bring items for sale and buy what is
             brought by others.  bring back call to mind.  bring down 1 cause
             to fall.  2 lower (a price).  3 sl. make unhappy or less happy.
             4 colloq. damage the reputation of; demean.  bring forth 1 give
             birth to.  2 produce, emit, cause.  bring forward 1 move to an
             earlier date or time.  2 transfer from the previous page or
             account.  3 draw attention to; adduce.  bring home to cause to
             realize fully (brought home to me that I was wrong).  bring the
             house down receive rapturous applause.  bring in 1 introduce
             (legislation, a custom, fashion, topic, etc.).  2 yield as
             income or profit.  bring into play cause to operate; activate.
             bring low overcome.  bring off achieve successfully.  bring on 1
             cause to happen or appear.  2 accelerate the progress of.  bring
             out 1 emphasize; make evident.  2 publish.  bring over convert
             to one's own side.  bring round 1 restore to consciousness.  2
             persuade.  bring through aid (a person) through adversity, esp.
             illness.  bring to 1 restore to consciousness (brought him to).
             2 check the motion of.  bring to bear (usu. foll. by on) direct
             and concentrate (forces).  bring to mind recall; cause one to
             remember.  bring to pass cause to happen.  bring under subdue.
             bring up 1 rear (a child).  2 vomit, regurgitate.  3 call
             attention to.  4 (absol.) stop suddenly.  bring upon oneself be
             responsible for (something one suffers).  ЬЬbringer n.  [OE
             bringan f. Gmc]

   brinjal   n.  (in India and Africa) an aubergine.  [ult. Port.  berinjela
             formed as AUBERGINE]

   brink     n.  1 the extreme edge of land before a precipice, river, etc.,
             esp. when a sudden drop follows.  2 the furthest point before
             something dangerous or exciting is discovered.  Ьon the brink of
             about to experience or suffer; in imminent danger of.  [ME f.
             ON: orig. unkn.]

             n.  the art or policy of pursuing a dangerous course to the
             brink of catastrophe before desisting.

   briny     adj. & n.  --adj.  (brinier, briniest) of brine or the sea;
             salty.  --n. (prec. by the) Brit.  sl. the sea.  ЬЬbrininess n.

   brio      n.  dash, vigour, vivacity.  [It.]

   brioche   n.  a small rounded sweet roll made with a light yeast dough.

   briquette n.  (also briquet) a block of compressed coal dust used as fuel.
             [F briquette, dimin. of brique brick]

   brisk     adj. & v.  --adj.  1 quick, lively, keen (a brisk pace; brisk
             trade).  2 enlivening (a brisk wind).  --v.tr. & intr. (often
             foll. by up) make or grow brisk.  ЬЬbrisken v.tr. & intr.
             briskly adv.  briskness n.  [prob. F brusque BRUSQUE]

   brisket   n.  an animal's breast, esp. as a joint of meat.  [AF f. OF
             bruschet, perh. f. ON]

   brisling  n.  a small herring or sprat.  [Norw. & Da., = sprat]

   bristle   n. & v.  --n.  1 a short stiff hair, esp. one of those on an
             animal's back.  2 this, or a man-made substitute, used in clumps
             to make a brush.  --v.  1 a intr. (of the hair) stand upright,
             esp. in anger or pride.  b tr. make (the hair) do this.  2 intr.
             show irritation or defensiveness.  3 intr. (usu. foll. by with)
             be covered or abundant (in).  [ME bristel, brestel f. OE byrst]

             n.  = SILVERFISH.

   bristly   adj.  (bristlier, bristliest) full of bristles; rough, prickly.

   Bristol board
             n.  a kind of fine smooth pasteboard for drawing on.  [Bristol
             in S. England]

   Bristol fashion
             n.  (functioning as predic.adj.) (in full shipshape and Bristol
             fashion) orig. Naut.  with all in good order.

   bristols  n.pl.  Brit.  sl.  a woman's breasts.  [rhyming sl. f.  Bristol
             cities = titties]

   Brit      n.  colloq.  a British person.  [abbr.]

   Brit.     abbr.  1 British.  2 Britain.

   Britannia n.  the personification of Britain, esp. as a helmeted woman
             with shield and trident.  ЬBritannia metal a silvery alloy of
             tin, antimony, and copper.  [L f. Gk Brettania f.  Brettanoi

   Britannic adj. (esp. in His (or Her) Britannic Majesty) of Britain.  [L
             Britannicus (as BRITANNIA)]

   Briticism n.  (also Britishism) an idiom used in Britain but not in other
             English-speaking countries.  [BRITISH, after GALLICISM]

   British   adj. & n.  --adj.  1 of or relating to Great Britain or the
             United Kingdom, or to its people or language.  2 of the British
             Commonwealth or (formerly) the British Empire (British subject).
             --n.  1 (prec. by the; treated as pl.) the British people.  2 US
             = British English.  ЬBritish English English as used in Great
             Britain, as distinct from that used elsewhere.  British Legion =
             Royal British Legion.  British summer time = summer time (see
             SUMMER(1)).  British thermal unit see THERMAL.  ЬЬBritishness n.
             [OE Brettisc etc. f.  Bret f. L Britto or OCelt.]

   Britisher n.  a British subject, esp. of British descent.  °Not used in
             British English.

             var. of BRITICISM.

   Briton    n.  1 one of the people of S. Britain before the Roman conquest.
             2 a native or inhabitant of Great Britain or (formerly) of the
             British Empire.  [ME & OF Breton f. L Britto -onis f. OCelt.]

   brittle   adj. & n.  --adj. hard and fragile; apt to break.  --n. a
             brittle sweet made from nuts and set melted sugar.
             Ьbrittle-bone disease = OSTEOPOROSIS.  brittle-star an
             echinoderm of the class Ophiuroidea, with long brittle arms
             radiating from a small central body.  ЬЬbrittlely adv.
             brittleness n.  brittly adv.  [ME ult. f. a Gmc root rel. to OE
             breotan break up]

   bro.      abbr.  brother.

   broach    v. & n.  --v.tr.  1 raise (a subject) for discussion.  2 pierce
             (a cask) to draw liquor.  3 open and start using contents of (a
             box, bale, bottle, etc.).  4 begin drawing (liquor).  --n.  1 a
             bit for boring.  2 a roasting-spit.  Ьbroach spire an octagonal
             church spire rising from a square tower without a parapet.  [ME
             f. OF broche (n.), brocher (v.) ult. f. L brocc(h)us projecting]

   broad     adj. & n.  --adj.  1 large in extent from one side to the other;
             wide.  2 (following a measurement) in breadth (2 metres broad).
             3 spacious or extensive (broad acres; a broad plain).  4 full
             and clear (broad daylight).  5 explicit, unmistakable (broad
             hint).  6 general; not taking account of detail (broad
             intentions; a broad inquiry; in the broadest sense of the word).
             7 chief or principal (the broad facts).  8 tolerant, liberal
             (take a broad view).  9 somewhat coarse (broad humour).  10 (of
             speech) markedly regional (broad Scots).  --n.  1 the broad part
             of something (broad of the back).  2 US sl. a young woman.  3
             (the Broads) large areas of fresh water in E. Anglia, formed
             where rivers widen.  Ьbroad arrow see ARROW.  broad bean 1 a
             kind of bean, Vicia faba, with pods containing large edible flat
             seeds.  2 one of these seeds.  Broad Church a group within the
             Anglican Church favouring a liberal interpretation of doctrine.
             broad gauge a railway track with a gauge wider than the standard
             one.  broad-leaved (of a tree) deciduous and hard-timbered.
             broad pennant a short swallow-tailed pennant distinguishing the
             commodore's ship in a squadron.  broad spectrum (of a medicinal
             substance) effective against a large variety of micro-organisms.
             ЬЬbroadness n.  broadways adv.  broadwise adv.  [OE brad f. Gmc]

   broadcast v., n., adj., & adv.  --v.  (past broadcast or broadcasted; past
             part.  broadcast) 1 tr. transmit (programmes or information) by
             radio or television.  2 intr. undertake or take part in a radio
             or television transmission.  3 tr. scatter (seed etc.) over a
             large area, esp. by hand.  --n. a radio or television programme
             or transmission.  --adj.  1 transmitted by radio or television.
             2 a scattered widely.  b (of information etc.) widely
             disseminated.  --adv. over a large area.  ЬЬbroadcaster n.
             broadcasting n.  [BROAD + CAST past part.]

             n.  a fine cloth of wool, cotton, or silk.  [orig. with ref. to
             width and quality]

   broaden   v.tr. & intr.  make or become broader.

   broadloom adj.  (esp. of carpet) woven in broad widths.

   broadly   adv.  in a broad manner; widely (grinned broadly).  Ьbroadly
             speaking disregarding minor exceptions.

             adj.  tolerant or liberal in one's views.  ЬЬbroad-mindedly adv.
             broad-mindedness n.

             n.  a large sheet of paper printed on one side only, esp. with

   broadside n.  1 the firing of all guns from one side of a ship.  2 a
             vigorous verbal onslaught.  3 the side of a ship above the water
             between the bow and quarter.  Ьbroadside on sideways on.

             n.  a sword with a broad blade, for cutting rather than

   broadtail n.  1 the karacul sheep.  2 the fleece or wool from its lamb.

   broadway  n.  a large open or main road.

   brocade   n. & v.  --n. a rich fabric with a silky finish woven with a
             raised pattern, and often with gold or silver thread.  --v.tr.
             weave with this design.  [Sp. & Port.  brocado f. It.  broccato
             f.  brocco twisted thread]

   broccoli  n.  1 a variety of cabbage, similar to the cauliflower, with a
             loose cluster of greenish flower buds.  2 the flower-stalk and
             head used as a vegetable.  [It., pl. of broccolo dimin. of
             brocco sprout]

   broch     n.  (in Scotland) a prehistoric circular stone tower.  [ON borg

   brochette n.  a skewer on which chunks of meat are cooked, esp. over an
             open fire.  [F, dimin. of broche BROACH]

   brochure  n.  a pamphlet or leaflet, esp. one giving descriptive
             information.  [F, lit. 'stitching', f.  brocher stitch]

   brock     n.  (esp. in rural use) a badger.  [OE broc(c) f. OBrit.

   brocket   n.  any small deer of the genus Mazama, native to Central and S.
             America, having short straight antlers.  [ME f. AF broque (=
             broche BROACH)]

   broderie anglaise
             n.  open embroidery on white linen or cambric, esp. in floral
             patterns.  [F, = English embroidery]

   brogue(1) n.  1 a strong outdoor shoe with ornamental perforated bands.  2
             a rough shoe of untanned leather.  [Gael. & Ir.  brog f. ON

   brogue(2) n.  a marked accent, esp. Irish.  [18th c.: orig. unkn.: perh.
             allusively f.  BROGUE(1)]

   broil(1)  v.  esp. US 1 tr. cook (meat) on a rack or a gridiron.  2 tr. &
             intr. make or become very hot, esp. from the sun.  [ME f. OF
             bruler burn f. Rmc]

   broil(2)  n.  a row; a tumult.  [obs.  broil to muddle: cf.  EMBROIL]

   broiler   n.  1 a young chicken raised for broiling or roasting.  2 a
             gridiron etc. for broiling.  3 colloq. a very hot day.  Ьbroiler
             house a building for rearing broiler chickens in close

   broke     past of BREAK(1).  --predic.adj.  colloq. having no money;
             financially ruined.  Ьgo for broke sl.  risk everything in a
             strenuous effort.  [(adj.) archaic past part. of BREAK(1)]

   broken    past part. of BREAK(1).  --adj.  1 that has been broken; out of
             order.  2 (of a person) reduced to despair; beaten.  3 (of a
             language or of speech) spoken falteringly and with many
             mistakes, as by a foreigner (broken English).  4 disturbed,
             interrupted (broken time).  5 uneven (broken ground).  Ьbroken
             chord Mus.  a chord in which the notes are played successively.
             broken-down 1 worn out by age, use, or ill-treatment.  2 out of
             order.  broken-hearted overwhelmed with sorrow or grief.
             broken-heartedness grief.  broken home a family in which the
             parents are divorced or separated.  broken reed a person who has
             become unreliable or ineffective.  broken wind heaves (see HEAVE
             n.  3).  broken-winded (of a horse) disabled by ruptured
             air-cells in the lungs.  ЬЬbrokenly adv.  brokenness n.

   broker    n.  1 an agent who buys and sells for others; a middleman.  2 a
             member of the Stock Exchange dealing in stocks and shares.  °In
             the UK from Oct. 1986 officially called broker-dealer and
             entitled to act as agent and principal in share dealings.  3
             Brit. an official appointed to sell or appraise distrained
             goods.  [ME f. AF brocour, of unkn. orig.]

   brokerage n.  a broker's fee or commission.

   broking   n.  the trade or business of a broker.

   brolga    n.  Austral.  a large Australian crane, Grus rubicunda, with a
             booming call.  [Aboriginal]

   brolly    n.  (pl.  -ies) Brit.  1 colloq. an umbrella.  2 sl. a
             parachute.  [abbr.]

   bromate   n.  Chem.  a salt or ester of bromic acid.

   brome     n.  any oatlike grass of the genus Bromus, having slender stems
             with flowering spikes.  [mod.L Bromus f. Gk bromos oat]

   bromelia  n.  (also bromeliad) any plant of the family Bromeliaceae (esp.
             of the genus Bromelia), native to the New World, having short
             stems with rosettes of stiff usu. spiny leaves, e.g. pineapple.
             [O.  Bromel, Sw. botanist d. 1705]

   bromic    adj.  Chem.  of or containing bromine.  Ьbromic acid a strong
             acid used as an oxidizing agent.

   bromide   n.  1 Chem. any binary compound of bromine.  2 Pharm. a
             preparation of usu. potassium bromide, used as a sedative.  3 a
             trite remark.  Ьbromide paper a photographic printing paper
             coated with silver bromide emulsion.

   bromine   n.  Chem.  a dark fuming liquid element with a choking
             irritating smell, extracted from bittern and used in the
             manufacture of chemicals for photography and medicine.  °Symb.:
             Br.  ЬЬbromism n.  [F brome f. Gk bromos stink]

   bromo-    comb. form Chem.  bromine.

   bronc     n.  US colloq.  = BRONCO.  [abbr.]

   bronchi   pl. of BRONCHUS.

   bronchial adj.  of or relating to the bronchi or bronchioles.  Ьbronchial
             tree the branching system of bronchi and bronchioles conducting
             air from the windpipe to the lungs.

             n.  any of the minute divisions of a bronchus.  ЬЬbronchiolar

             n.  inflammation of the mucous membrane in the bronchial tubes.
             ЬЬbronchitic adj. & n.

   broncho-  comb. form bronchi.

             n.  a goitre.

             n.  inflammation of the lungs, arising in the bronchi or

             n.  a usu. fibre-optic instrument for inspecting the bronchi.
             ЬЬbronchoscopy n.

   bronchus  n.  (pl.  bronchi) any of the major air passages of the lungs,
             esp. either of the two main divisions of the windpipe.  [LL f.
             Gk brogkhos windpipe]

   bronco    n.  (pl.  -os) a wild or half-tamed horse of the western US.
             Ьbronco-buster US sl.  a person who breaks in horses.  [Sp., =

             n.  (also brontosaur) a large plant-eating dinosaur of the genus
             Brontosaurus, with a long whiplike tail and trunk-like legs.
             [Gk bronte thunder + sauros lizard]

   bronze    n., adj., & v.  --n.  1 any alloy of copper and tin.  2 its
             brownish colour.  3 a thing made of bronze, esp. as a work of
             art.  --adj. made of or coloured like bronze.  --v.  1 tr. give
             a bronzelike surface to.  2 tr. & intr. make or become brown;
             tan.  ЬBronze Age Archaeol.  the period preceding the Iron Age,
             when weapons and tools were usu. made of bronze.  bronze medal a
             medal usu. awarded to a competitor who comes third (esp. in
             sport).  ЬЬbronzy adj.  [F f. It.  bronzo, prob. f. Pers.
             birinj copper]

   brooch    n.  an ornament fastened to clothing with a hinged pin.  [ME
             broche = BROACH n.]

   brood     n. & v.  --n.  1 the young of an animal (esp. a bird) produced
             at one hatching or birth.  2 colloq. the children in a family.
             3 a group of related things.  4 bee or wasp larvae.  5 (attrib.)
             kept for breeding (brood-mare).  --v.  1 intr. (often foll. by
             on, over, etc.) worry or ponder (esp. resentfully).  2 a intr.
             sit as a hen on eggs to hatch them.  b tr. sit on (eggs) to
             hatch them.  3 intr. (usu. foll. by over) (of silence, a storm,
             etc.) hang or hover closely.  ЬЬbroodingly adv.  [OE brod f.

   brooder   n.  1 a heated house for chicks, piglets, etc.  2 a person who

   broody    adj.  (broodier, broodiest) 1 (of a hen) wanting to brood.  2
             sullenly thoughtful or depressed.  3 colloq. (of a woman)
             wanting to have a baby.  ЬЬbroodily adv.  broodiness n.

   brook(1)  n.  a small stream.  ЬЬbrooklet n.  [OE broc, of unkn. orig.]

   brook(2)  v.tr.  (usu. with neg.) literary tolerate, allow.  [OE brucan f.

   brooklime n.  a kind of speedwell, Veronica beccabunga, growing in wet

   brookweed n.  a small herb, Samolus valerandi, having slender stems with
             tiny white flowers and growing in wet places.

   broom     n.  1 a long-handled brush of bristles, twigs, etc. for sweeping
             (orig. one made of twigs of broom).  2 any of various shrubs,
             esp.  Cytisus scoparius bearing bright yellow flowers.  Ьnew
             broom a newly appointed person eager to make changes.  [OE brom]

   broomrape n.  any parasitic plant of the genus Orobanche, with tubular
             flowers on a leafless brown stem, and living on the roots of
             broom and similar plants.  [BROOM + L rapum tuber]

             n.  the handle of a broom, esp. as allegedly ridden on through
             the air by witches.

   Bros.     abbr.  Brothers (esp. in the name of a firm).

   brose     n.  esp. Sc.  Cookery a dish of oatmeal with boiling water or
             milk poured on it.  [Sc. form of brewis broth: ME f. OF
             bro(u)ez, ult. f. Gmc]

   broth     n.  1 Cookery a a thin soup of meat or fish stock.  b
             unclarified meat or fish stock.  2 Biol. meat stock as a
             nutrient medium for bacteria.  [OE f. Gmc: rel. to BREW]

   brothel   n.  a house etc. where prostitution takes place.  [orig.
             brothel-house f. ME brothel worthless man, prostitute, f. OE
             breothan go to ruin]

   brother   n.  1 a man or boy in relation to other sons and daughters of
             his parents.  2 a (often as a form of address) a close male
             friend or associate.  b a male fellow member of a trade union
             etc.  3 (pl.  also brethren) a a member of a male religious
             order, esp. a monk.  b a fellow member of the Christian Church,
             a religion, or (formerly) a guild etc.  4 a fellow human being.
             Ьbrother german see GERMAN.  brother-in-law (pl.
             brothers-in-law) 1 the brother of one's wife or husband.  2 the
             husband of one's sister.  3 the husband of one's sister-in-law.
             brother uterine see UTERINE 2.  ЬЬbrotherless adj.  brotherly
             adj. & adv.  brotherliness n.  [OE brothor f. Gmc]

             n.  1 a the relationship between brothers.  b brotherly
             friendliness; companionship.  2 a an association, society, or
             community of people linked by a common interest, religion,
             trade, etc.  b its members collectively.  3 US a trade union.  4
             community of feeling between all human beings.  [ME alt. f.
             brotherrede f. OE brothor-r‘den (cf.  KINDRED) after words in
             -HOOD, -HEAD]

   brougham  n.  hist.  1 a horse-drawn closed carriage with a driver perched
             outside in front.  2 a motor car with an open driver's seat.
             [Lord Brougham, d. 1868]

   brought   past and past part. of BRING.

   brouhaha  n.  commotion, sensation; hubbub, uproar.  [F]

   brow      n.  1 the forehead.  2 (usu. in pl.) an eyebrow.  3 the summit
             of a hill or pass.  4 the edge of a cliff etc.  5 colloq.
             intellectual level.  ЬЬbrowed adj.  [OE bru f. Gmc]

   browbeat  v.tr.  (past -beat; past part.  -beaten) intimidate with stern
             looks and words.  ЬЬbrowbeater n.

   brown     adj., n., & v.  --adj.  1 having the colour produced by mixing
             red, yellow, and black, as of dark wood or rich soil.  2
             dark-skinned or suntanned.  3 (of bread) made from a dark flour
             as wholemeal or wheatmeal.  4 (of species or varieties)
             distinguished by brown coloration.  --n.  1 a brown colour or
             pigment.  2 brown clothes or material (dressed in brown).  3 (in
             a game or sport) a brown ball, piece, etc.  4 (prec. by the)
             Brit. a brown mass of flying game-birds.  --v.tr. & intr. make
             or become brown by cooking, sunburn, etc.  Ьbrown ale a dark,
             mild, bottled beer.  brown bear a large N. American brown bear,
             Ursus arctos.  brown coal = LIGNITE.  browned off Brit.  sl.
             fed up, disheartened.  brown fat a dark-coloured adipose tissue
             with a rich supply of blood vessels.  brown holland see HOLLAND.
             brown owl 1 any of various owls, esp. the tawny owl.  2 (Brown
             Owl) an adult leader of a Brownie Guides pack.  brown rice
             unpolished rice with only the husk of the grain removed.
             Brown-shirt a Nazi; a member of a fascist organization.  brown
             sugar unrefined or partially refined sugar.  in a brown study
             see STUDY.  ЬЬbrownish adj.  brownness n.  browny adj.  [OE brun
             f. Gmc]

   Brownian movement
             n.  (also Brownian motion) Physics the erratic random movement
             of microscopic particles in a liquid, gas, etc., as a result of
             continuous bombardment from molecules of the surrounding medium.
             [R.  Brown, Sc. botanist d. 1858]

   Brownie   n.  1 (in full Brownie Guide) a member of the junior branch of
             the Guides.  2 (brownie) Cookery a a small square of rich, usu.
             chocolate, cake with nuts.  b Austral. & NZ a sweet
             currant-bread.  3 (brownie) a benevolent elf said to haunt
             houses and do household work secretly.  ЬBrownie point colloq.
             a notional credit for something done to please or win favour.

   browning  n.  Brit.  Cookery browned flour or any other additive to colour

             n.  US 1 a kind of reddish-brown sandstone used for building.  2
             a building faced with this.

   browse    v. & n.  --v.  1 intr. & tr. read desultorily.  2 intr. (often
             foll. by on) feed (on leaves, twigs, or scanty vegetation).  3
             tr. crop and eat.  --n.  1 twigs, young shoots, etc., as fodder
             for cattle.  2 an act of browsing.  ЬЬbrowser n.  [(n.) f.
             earlier brouse f. OF brost young shoot, prob. f. Gmc; (v.) f. F

   BRS       abbr.  British Road Services.

             n.  a disease caused by bacteria of the genus Brucella,
             affecting esp. cattle and causing undulant fever in humans.
             [Brucella f. Sir D.  Bruce, Sc. physician d. 1931 + -OSIS]

   brucite   n.  a mineral form of magnesium hydroxide.  [A.  Bruce, US
             mineralogist d. 1818]

   Bruin     n.  a personal name used for a bear.  [ME f. Du., = BROWN: used
             as a name in Reynard the Fox]

   bruise    n. & v.  --n.  1 an injury appearing as an area of discoloured
             skin on a human or animal body, caused by a blow or impact.  2 a
             similar area of damage on a fruit etc.  --v.  1 tr.  a inflict a
             bruise on.  b hurt mentally.  2 intr. be susceptible to
             bruising.  3 tr. crush or pound.  [ME f. OE brysan crush,
             reinforced by AF bruser, OF bruisier break]

   bruiser   n.  colloq.  1 a large tough-looking person.  2 a professional

   bruit     v. & n.  --v.tr. (often foll. by abroad, about) spread (a report
             or rumour).  --n.  archaic a report or rumour.  [F, = noise f.
             bruire roar]

   Brum      n.  colloq.  Birmingham (in England).  [abbr. of BRUMMAGEM]

   brumby    n.  (pl.  -ies) Austral.  a wild or unbroken horse.  [19th c.:
             orig. unkn.]

   brume     n.  literary mist, fog.  [F f. L bruma winter]

   Brummagem adj.  1 cheap and showy (Brummagem goods).  2 counterfeit.
             [dial. form of Birmingham, England, with ref. to counterfeit
             coins and plated goods once made there]

   Brummie   n. & adj.  (also Brummy) colloq.  --n.  (pl.  -ies) a native of
             Birmingham.  --adj. of or characteristic of a Brummie (a Brummie
             accent).  [BRUM]

   brunch    n. & v.  --n. a late-morning meal eaten as the first meal of the
             day.  --v.intr. eat brunch.  [BR(EAKFAST) + (L)UNCH]

   brunette  n. & adj.  --n. a woman with dark brown hair.  --adj. (of a
             woman) having dark brown hair.  [F, fem. of brunet, dimin. of
             brun BROWN]

   brunt     n.  the chief or initial impact of an attack, task, etc.  (esp.
             bear the brunt of).  [ME: orig. unkn.]

   brush     n. & v.  --n.  1 an implement with bristles, hair, wire, etc.
             varying in firmness set into a block or projecting from the end
             of a handle, for any of various purposes, esp. cleaning or
             scrubbing, painting, arranging the hair, etc.  2 the application
             of a brush; brushing.  3 a (usu. foll. by with) a short esp.
             unpleasant encounter (a brush with the law).  b a skirmish.  4 a
             the bushy tail of a fox.  b a brushlike tuft.  5 Electr.  a a
             piece of carbon or metal serving as an electrical contact esp.
             with a moving part.  b (in full brush discharge) a brushlike
             discharge of sparks.  6 esp.  US & Austral.  a undergrowth,
             thicket; small trees and shrubs.  b US such wood cut in faggots.
             c land covered with brush.  d Austral. dense forest.  7 Austral.
             & NZ sl. a girl or young woman.  --v.  1 tr.  a sweep or scrub
             or put in order with a brush.  b treat (a surface) with a brush
             so as to change its nature or appearance.  2 tr.  a remove (dust
             etc.) with a brush.  b apply (a liquid preparation) to a surface
             with a brush.  3 tr. & intr. graze or touch in passing.  4 intr.
             perform a brushing action or motion.  Ьbrush aside dismiss or
             dispose of (a person, idea, etc.) curtly or lightly.  brushed
             aluminium aluminium with a lustreless surface.  brushed fabric
             fabric brushed so as to raise the nap.  brush off rebuff;
             dismiss abruptly.  brush-off n.  a rebuff; an abrupt dismissal.
             brush over paint lightly.  brush turkey Austral.  a large
             mound-building bird, Alectura lathami.  brush up 1 clean up or
             smarten.  2 revive one's former knowledge of (a subject).
             brush-up n.  the process of cleaning up.  ЬЬbrushlike adj.
             brushy adj.  [ME f. OF brosse]

   brushless adj.  not requiring the use of a brush.

   brushwood n.  1 cut or broken twigs etc.  2 undergrowth; a thicket.

   brushwork n.  1 manipulation of the brush in painting.  2 a painter's
             style in this.

   brusque   adj.  abrupt or offhand in manner or speech.  ЬЬbrusquely adv.
             brusqueness n.  brusquerie n.  [F f. It.  brusco sour]

   Brussels carpet
             n.  a carpet with a wool pile and a stout linen back.  [Brussels
             in Belgium]

   Brussels lace
             n.  an elaborate needlepoint or pillow lace.

   Brussels sprout
             n.  1 a variety of cabbage with small compact cabbage-like buds
             borne close together along a tall single stem.  2 any of these
             buds used as a vegetable.

   brut      adj.  (of wine) unsweetened.  [F]

   brutal    adj.  1 savagely or coarsely cruel.  2 harsh, merciless.
             ЬЬbrutality n.  (pl.  -ies).  brutally adv.  [F brutal or med.L
             brutalis f.  brutus BRUTE]

   brutalism n.  1 brutality.  2 a heavy plain style of architecture etc.

   brutalize v.tr.  (also -ise) 1 make brutal.  2 treat brutally.
             ЬЬbrutalization n.

   brute     n. & adj.  --n.  1 a a brutal or violent person or animal.  b
             colloq. an unpleasant person.  2 an animal as opposed to a human
             being.  --adj.  1 not possessing the capacity to reason.  2 a
             animal-like, cruel.  b stupid, sensual.  3 unthinking, merely
             material (brute force; brute matter).  ЬЬbrutehood n.  brutish
             adj.  brutishly adv.  brutishness n.  [F f. L brutus stupid]

   bruxism   n.  the involuntary or habitual grinding or clenching of the
             teeth.  [Gk brukhein gnash the teeth]

   bryology  n.  the study of bryophytes.  ЬЬbryological adj.  bryologist n.
             [Gk bruon moss]

   bryony    n.  (pl.  -ies) any climbing plant of the genus Bryonia, esp.
             B. dioica bearing greenish-white flowers and red berries.
             Ьblack bryony a similar unrelated plant, Tamus communis, bearing
             poisonous berries.  [L bryonia f. Gk bruonia]

   bryophyte n.  any plant of the phylum Bryophyta, including mosses and
             liverworts.  ЬЬbryophytic adj.  [mod.L Bryophyta f. Gk bruon
             moss + phuton plant]

   bryozoan  n. & adj.  --n. any aquatic invertebrate animal of the phylum
             Bryozoa, forming colonies attached to rocks, seaweeds, etc. Also
             called POLYZOAN.  --adj. of or relating to the phylum Bryozoa.
             ЬЬbryozoology n.  [Gk bruon moss + zoia animals]

   Brythonic n. & adj.  --n. the language of the Celts of southern Britain
             and Brittany.  --adj. of or relating to this people or their
             language.  [W Brython Britons f. OCelt.]

18.0 BS...

   BS        abbr.  1 US Bachelor of Science.  2 Bachelor of Surgery.  3
             Blessed Sacrament.  4 British Standard(s).

   B.Sc.     abbr.  Bachelor of Science.

   BSE       abbr.  bovine spongiform encephalopathy, a usu. fatal disease of
             cattle involving the central nervous system and causing extreme

   BSI       abbr.  British Standards Institution.

   B-side    n.  the side of a gramophone record regarded as less important.

   BST       abbr.  1 British Summer Time.  2 British Standard Time (in use
             1968-71).  3 bovine somatotrophin, a growth hormone found
             naturally in cows and introduced into cattle-feed to boost milk

19.0 BT...

   BT        abbr.  British Telecom.

   Bt.       abbr.  Baronet.

   B.th.u.   abbr.  (also B.t.u., BTU, B.Th.U.) British thermal unit(s).

20.0 bu...

   bu.       abbr.  bushel(s).

   bub       n.  US colloq.  a boy or a man, often used as a form of address.
             [earlier bubby, perh. a childish form of BROTHER or f. G Bube

   bubal     n.  = HARTEBEEST.  [L bubalus f. Gk boubalos oxlike antelope]

   bubble    n. & v.  --n.  1 a a thin sphere of liquid enclosing air etc.  b
             an air-filled cavity in a liquid or a solidified liquid such as
             glass or amber.  2 the sound or appearance of boiling.  3 a
             transparent domed cavity.  4 a visionary or unrealistic project
             or enterprise (the South Sea Bubble).  --v.intr.  1 rise in or
             send up bubbles.  2 make the sound of boiling.  Ьbubble and
             squeak Brit.  cooked cabbage fried with cooked potatoes or meat.
             bubble bath 1 a preparation for adding to bath water to make it
             foam.  2 a bath with this added.  bubble car Brit.  a small
             motor car with a transparent dome.  bubble chamber Physics an
             apparatus designed to make the tracks of ionizing particles
             visible as a row of bubbles in a liquid.  bubble gum chewing-gum
             that can be blown into bubbles.  bubble memory Computing a type
             of memory which stores data as a pattern of magnetized regions
             in a thin layer of magnetic material.  bubble over (often foll.
             by with) be exuberant with laughter, excitement, anger, etc.
             bubble pack a small package enclosing goods in a transparent
             material on a backing.  [ME: prob. imit.]

   bubbly    adj. & n.  --adj.  (bubblier, bubbliest) 1 having or resembling
             bubbles.  2 exuberant.  --n.  colloq. champagne.  Ьbubbly-jock
             Sc.  a turkeycock.

   bubo      n.  (pl.  -oes) a swollen inflamed lymph node in the armpit or
             groin.  [med.L bubo -onis swelling f. Gk boubon groin]

   bubonic   adj.  relating to or characterized by buboes.  Ьbubonic plague a
             contagious bacterial disease characterized by fever, delirium,
             and the formation of buboes.

   buccal    adj.  1 of or relating to the cheek.  2 of or in the mouth.  [L
             bucca cheek]

   buccaneer n. & v.  --n.  1 a pirate, orig. off the Spanish-American
             coasts.  2 an unscrupulous adventurer.  --v.intr. be a
             buccaneer.  ЬЬbuccaneering n. & adj.  buccaneerish adj.  [F
             boucanier f.  boucaner cure meat on a barbecue f.  boucan f.
             Tupi mukem]

             n.  a flat thin cheek muscle.  [L f.  buccinare blow a trumpet

   buck(1)   n. & v.  --n.  1 the male of various animals, esp. the deer,
             hare, or rabbit.  2 archaic a fashionable young man.  3
             (attrib.) a sl. male (buck antelope).  b US Mil. of the lowest
             rank (buck private).  --v.  1 intr. (of a horse) jump upwards
             with back arched and feet drawn together.  2 tr.  a (usu. foll.
             by off) throw (a rider or burden) in this way.  b US oppose,
             resist.  3 tr. & intr. (usu. foll. by up) colloq.  a make or
             become more cheerful.  b hurry.  4 tr. (as bucked adj.) colloq.
             encouraged, elated.  Ьbuck fever US nervousness when called on
             to act.  buck-horn horn of buck as a material for knife-handles
             etc.  buck-hound a small kind of staghound.  buck rarebit Welsh
             rarebit with a poached egg on top.  buck-tooth an upper tooth
             that projects.  ЬЬbucker n.  [OE buc male deer, bucca male goat,
             f. ON]

   buck(2)   n.  US etc.  sl.  a dollar.  Ьa fast buck easy money.  [19th c.:
             orig. unkn.]

   buck(3)   n.  sl.  an article placed as a reminder before a player whose
             turn it is to deal at poker.  Ьpass the buck colloq.  shift
             responsibility (to another).  [19th c.: orig. unkn.]

   buck(4)   n.  1 US a saw-horse.  2 a vaulting-horse.  [Du. (zaag)boc]

   buck(5)   n.  the body of a cart.  [perh. f. obs.  bouk belly, f. OE buc
             f. Gmc]

   buck      (6) n.  conversation; boastful talk.  [Hindi buk buk]

   buckbean  n.  a bog plant, Menyanthes trifoliata, with white or pinkish
             hairy flowers. Also called bog-bean.

   buckboard n.  US a horse-drawn vehicle with the body formed by a plank
             fixed to the axles.  [BUCK(5) + BOARD]

   bucket    n. & v.  --n.  1 a a roughly cylindrical open container, esp. of
             metal, with a handle, used for carrying, drawing, or holding
             water etc.  b the amount contained in this (need three buckets
             to fill the bath).  2 (in pl.) large quantities of liquid, esp.
             rain or tears (wept buckets).  3 a compartment on the outer edge
             of a water wheel.  4 the scoop of a dredger or a grain-elevator.
             --v.  (bucketed, bucketing) 1 intr. & tr. (often foll. by along)
             Brit. move or drive jerkily or bumpily.  2 intr. (often foll. by
             down) (of liquid, esp. rain) pour heavily.  Ьbucket seat a seat
             with a rounded back to fit one person, esp. in a car.
             bucket-shop 1 an office for gambling in stocks, speculating on
             markets, etc.  2 colloq. a travel agency specializing in cheap
             air tickets.  ЬЬbucketful n.  (pl.  -fuls).  [ME & AF buket,
             buquet, perh. f. OE buc pitcher]

   buckeye   n.  a any shrub of the genus Aesculus, with large sticky buds
             and showy red or white flowers.  b the shiny brown fruit of this

   buckle    n. & v.  --n.  1 a flat often rectangular frame with a hinged
             pin, used for joining the ends of a belt, strap, etc.  2 a
             similarly shaped ornament, esp. on a shoe.  --v.  1 tr. (often
             foll. by up, on, etc.) fasten with a buckle.  2 tr. & intr.
             (often foll. by up) give way or cause to give way under
             longitudinal pressure; crumple up.  Ьbuckle down make a
             determined effort.  buckle to (or down to) prepare for, set
             about (work etc.).  buckle to get to work, make a vigorous
             start.  [ME f. OF boucle f. L buccula cheek-strap of a helmet f.
             bucca cheek: sense 2 of v. f. F boucler bulge]

   buckler   n.  1 hist. a small round shield held by a handle.  2 Bot. any
             of several ferns of the genus Dryopteris, having buckler-shaped
             indusia. Also called shield-fern.  [ME f. OF bocler lit. 'having
             a boss' f.  boucle BOSS(2)]

   Buckley's n. (in full Buckley's chance) Austral. & NZ colloq.  little or
             no chance.  [19th c.: orig. uncert.]

   buckling  n.  a smoked herring.  [G BЃckling bloater]

   bucko     n. & adj.  Naut.  sl.  --n.  (pl.  -oes) a swaggering or
             domineering fellow.  --adj. blustering, swaggering, bullying.
             [BUCK(1) + -O]

   buckram   n. & adj.  --n.  1 a coarse linen or other cloth stiffened with
             gum or paste, and used as interfacing or in bookbinding.  2
             archaic stiffness in manner.  --adj.  archaic starchy; formal.
             Ьmen in buckram a figment (Shakesp.  1 Henry IV II. iv. 210-50).
             [ME f. AF bukeram, OF boquerant, perh. f.  Bokhara in central

   Bucks.    abbr.  Buckinghamshire.

   Buck's Fizz
             n.  a cocktail of champagne or sparkling white wine and orange
             juice.  [Buck's Club in London + FIZZ]

   buckshee  adj. & adv.  Brit.  sl.  free of charge.  [corrupt. of

   buckshot  n.  coarse lead shot.

   buckskin  n.  1 a the skin of a buck.  b leather made from a buck's skin.
             2 a thick smooth cotton or woollen cloth.

   buckthorn n.  any thorny shrub of the genus Rhamnus, esp.  R. cathartica
             with berries formerly used as a cathartic.

   buckwheat n.  any cereal plant of the genus Fagopyrum, esp.  F. esculentum
             with seeds used for fodder and for flour to make bread and
             pancakes.  [MDu.  boecweite beech wheat, its grains being shaped
             like beechmast]

   bucolic   adj. & n.  --adj. of or concerning shepherds, the pastoral life,
             etc.; rural.  --n.  1 (usu. in pl.) a pastoral poem or poetry.
             2 a peasant.  ЬЬbucolically adv.  [L bucolicus f. Gk boukolikos
             f.  boukolos herdsman f.  bous OX]

   bud(1)    n. & v.  --n.  1 a an immature knoblike shoot from which a stem,
             leaf, or flower develops.  b a flower or leaf that is not fully
             open.  2 Biol. an asexual outgrowth from a parent organism that
             separates to form a new individual.  3 anything still
             undeveloped.  --v.  (budded, budding) 1 intr.  Bot. & Zool. form
             a bud.  2 intr. begin to grow or develop (a budding cricketer).
             3 tr.  Hort. graft a bud (of a plant) on to another plant.  Ьin
             bud having newly formed buds.  [ME: orig. unkn.]

   bud(2)    n.  US colloq.  (as a form of address) = BUDDY.  [abbr.]

   Buddha    n.  1 a title given to successive teachers of Buddhism, esp. to
             its founder, Gautama.  2 a statue or picture of the Buddha.
             [Skr., = enlightened, past part. of budh know]

   Buddhism  n.  a widespread Asian religion or philosophy, founded by
             Gautama Buddha in India in the 5th c.  BC, which teaches that
             elimination of the self and earthly desires is the highest goal
             (cf.  NIRVANA).  ЬЬBuddhist n. & adj.  Buddhistic adj.
             Buddhistical adj.

   buddleia  n.  any shrub of the genus Buddleia, with fragrant lilac,
             yellow, or white flowers attractive to butterflies.  [A.
             Buddle, Engl. botanist d. 1715]

   buddy     n. & v.  esp.  US colloq.  --n.  (pl.  -ies) (often as a form of
             address) a close friend or mate.  --v.intr.  (-ies, -ied) (often
             foll. by up) become friendly.  [perh. corrupt. of brother, or
             var. of BUTTY(1)]

   budge     v.  (usu. with neg.) 1 intr.  a make the slightest movement.  b
             change one's opinion (he's stubborn, he won't budge).  2 tr.
             cause or compel to budge (nothing will budge him).  Ьbudge up
             (or over) make room for another person by moving.  [F bouger
             stir ult. f. L bullire boil]

             n.  a small green parrot, Melopsittacus undulatus, native to
             Australia, and bred in coloured varieties which are often kept
             as cage-birds.  [Aboriginal, = good cockatoo]

   budget    n. & v.  --n.  1 the amount of money needed or available (for a
             specific item etc.) (a budget of њ200; mustn't exceed the
             budget).  2 a (the Budget) Brit. the usu. annual estimate of
             national revenue and expenditure.  b an estimate or plan of
             expenditure in relation to income.  c a private person's or
             family's similar estimate.  3 (attrib.) inexpensive.  4 archaic
             a quantity of material etc., esp. written or printed.  --v.tr. &
             intr.  (budgeted, budgeting) (often foll. by for) allow or
             arrange for in a budget (have budgeted for a new car; can budget
             њ60).  Ьbudget account (or plan) a bank account, or account with
             a store, into which one makes regular, usu. monthly, payments to
             cover bills.  on a budget avoiding expense; cheap.  ЬЬbudgetary
             adj.  [ME = pouch, f. OF bougette dimin. of bouge leather bag f.
             L bulga (f. Gaulish) knapsack: cf.  BULGE]

   budgie    n.  colloq.  = BUDGERIGAR.  [abbr.]

   buff      adj., n., & v.  --adj. of a yellowish beige colour (buff
             envelope).  --n.  1 a yellowish beige colour.  2 colloq. an
             enthusiast, esp. for a particular hobby (railway buff).  3
             colloq. the human skin unclothed.  4 a a velvety dull-yellow
             ox-leather.  b (attrib.) (of a garment etc.) made of this (buff
             gloves).  5 (the Buffs) the former East Kent Regiment (from the
             colour of its uniform facings).  --v.tr.  1 polish (metal,
             fingernails, etc.).  2 make (leather) velvety like buff, by
             removing the surface.  Ьbuff-stick a stick covered with buff and
             used for polishing.  in the buff colloq.  naked.  [orig. sense
             'buffalo', prob. f. F buffle; sense 2 of n. orig. f. buff
             uniforms formerly worn by New York volunteer firemen, applied to
             enthusiastic fire-watchers]

   buffalo   n. & v.  --n.  (pl. same or -oes) 1 either of two species of ox,
             Synceros caffer, native to Africa, or Bubalus arnee, native to
             Asia with heavy backswept horns.  2 a N. American bison, Bison
             bison.  --v.tr.  (-oes, -oed) US sl. overawe, outwit.  Ьbuffalo
             grass 1 a grass, Buchloe dactyloides, of the N. American plains.
             2 a grass, Stenotaphrum secundatum, of Australia and New
             Zealand.  [prob. f. Port.  bufalo f. LL bufalus f. L bubalus f.
             Gk boubalos antelope, wild ox]

   buffer(1) n. & v.  --n.  1 a a device that protects against or reduces the
             effect of an impact.  b Brit. such a device (usu. one of a pair)
             on the front and rear of a railway vehicle or at the end of a
             track.  2 Biochem. a substance that maintains the hydrogen ion
             concentration of a solution when an acid or alkali is added.  3
             Computing a temporary memory area or queue for data to aid its
             transfer between devices or programs operating at different
             speeds etc.  --v.tr.  1 act as a buffer to.  2 Biochem. treat
             with a buffer.  Ьbuffer State a small State situated between two
             larger ones potentially hostile to one another and regarded as
             reducing the likelihood of open hostilities.  buffer stock a
             reserve of commodity to offset price fluctuations.  [prob. f.
             obs.  buff (v.), imit. of the sound of a soft body struck]

   buffer(2) n.  Brit.  sl.  a silly or incompetent old man (esp. old
             buffer).  [18th c.: prob. formed as BUFFER(1) or with the sense

   buffet(1) n.  1 a room or counter where light meals or snacks may be
             bought (station buffet).  2 a meal consisting of several dishes
             set out from which guests serve themselves (buffet lunch).  3
             also a sideboard or recessed cupboard for china etc.  Ьbuffet
             car Brit.  a railway coach serving light meals or snacks.  [F f.
             OF bufet stool, of unkn. orig.]

   buffet(2) v. & n.  --v.  (buffeted, buffeting) 1 tr.  a strike or knock
             repeatedly (wind buffeted the trees).  b strike, esp.
             repeatedly, with the hand or fist.  2 tr. (of fate etc.) treat
             badly; plague (cheerful though buffeted by misfortune).  3 a
             intr. struggle; fight one's way (through difficulties etc.).  b
             tr. contend with (waves etc.).  --n.  1 a blow, esp. of the hand
             or fist.  2 a shock.  [ME f. OF dimin. of bufe blow]

   buffeting n.  1 a beating; repeated blows.  2 Aeron. an irregular
             oscillation, caused by air eddies, of any part of an aircraft.

             n.  a duck, Bucephala albeola, native to N. America, with a head
             that appears over-large.  [obs.  buffle buffalo + HEAD]

   buffo     n. & adj.  --n.  (pl.  -os) a comic actor, esp. in Italian
             opera.  --adj. comic, burlesque.  [It.]

   buffoon   n.  1 a jester; a mocker.  2 a stupid person.  ЬЬbuffoonery n.
             buffoonish adj.  [F bouffon f. It.  buffone f. med.L buffo clown
             f. Rmc]

   bug       n. & v.  --n.  1 a any of various hemipterous insects with oval
             flattened bodies and mouthparts modified for piercing and
             sucking.  b US any small insect.  2 sl. a micro-organism, esp. a
             bacterium, or a disease caused by it.  3 a concealed microphone.
             4 sl. an error in a computer program or system etc.  5 sl. an
             obsession, enthusiasm, etc.  --v.  (bugged, bugging) 1 tr.  sl.
             conceal a microphone in (esp. a building or room).  2 tr.  sl.
             annoy, bother.  3 intr. (often foll. by out) US sl. leave
             quickly.  Ьbug-eyed with bulging eyes.  [17th c.: orig. unkn.]

   bugaboo   n.  a bogey (see BOGEY(2)) or bugbear.  [prob. of dial. orig.:
             cf. Welsh bwcibo the Devil, bwci hobgoblin]

   bugbear   n.  1 a cause of annoyance or anger; a b€te noire.  2 an object
             of baseless fear.  3 archaic a sort of hobgoblin or any being
             invoked to intimidate children.  [obs.  bug + BEAR(2)]

   bugger    n., v., & int.  coarse sl.  (except in sense 2 of n. and 3 of
             v.)  °Usually considered a taboo word.  --n.  1 a an unpleasant
             or awkward person or thing (the bugger won't fit).  b a person
             of a specified kind (he's a miserable bugger; you clever
             bugger!).  2 a person who commits buggery.  --v.tr.  1 as an
             exclamation of annoyance (bugger the thing!).  2 (often foll. by
             up) Brit.  a ruin; spoil (really buggered it up; no good, its
             buggered).  b exhaust, tire out.  3 commit buggery with.  --int.
             expressing annoyance.  Ьbugger about (or around) (often foll. by
             with) 1 mess about.  2 mislead; persecute.  bugger-all nothing.
             bugger off (often in imper.) go away.  [ME f. MDu. f. OF bougre,
             orig. 'heretic' f. med.L Bulgarus Bulgarian (member of the Greek

   buggery   n.  1 anal intercourse.  2 = BESTIALITY 2.  [ME f. MDu.
             buggerie f. OF bougerie: see BUGGER]

   buggy(1)  n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 a light, horse-drawn, esp. two-wheeled,
             vehicle for one or two people.  2 a small, sturdy, esp. open,
             motor vehicle (beach buggy; dune buggy).  3 US a pram.  [18th
             c.: orig. unkn.]

   buggy(2)  adj.  (buggier, buggiest) infested with bugs.

   bugle(1)  n. & v.  --n.  (also bugle-horn) a brass instrument like a small
             trumpet, used esp. by huntsmen and for military signals.  --v.
             1 intr. sound a bugle.  2 tr. sound (a note, a call, etc.) on a
             bugle.  ЬЬbugler n.  buglet n.  [ME, orig. = 'buffalo', f. OF f.
             L buculus dimin. of bos ox]

   bugle(2)  n.  a blue-flowered mat-forming plant, Ajuga reptans.  [ME f. LL

   bugle(3)  n.  a tube-shaped bead sewn on a dress etc. for ornament.  [16th
             c.: orig. unkn.]

   bugloss   n.  1 any of various bristly plants related to borage, esp. of
             the genus Anchusa with bright blue tubular flowers.  2 = viper's
             bugloss (see VIPER).  [F buglosse or L buglossus f. Gk
             bouglossos ox-tongued]

   buhl      n.  (also boule, boulle) 1 pieces of brass, tortoiseshell, etc.,
             cut to make a pattern and used as decorative inlays esp. on
             furniture.  2 work inlaid with buhl.  3 (attrib.) inlaid with
             buhl.  [(buhl Germanized) f. A. C.  Boule, Fr. wood-carver d.

   build     v. & n.  --v.tr.  (past and past. part.  built) 1 a construct (a
             house, vehicle, fire, road, model, etc.) by putting parts or
             material together.  b commission, finance, and oversee the
             building of (the council has built two new schools).  2 (often
             foll. by up) establish, develop, make, or accumulate gradually
             (built the business up from nothing); (often foll. by on); base
             (hopes, theories, etc.)  (ideas built on a false foundation).  3
             (as built adj.) having a specified build (sturdily built;
             brick-built).  --n.  1 the proportions of esp. the human body (a
             slim build).  2 a style of construction; a make (build of his
             suit was pre-war).  Ьbuild in incorporate as part of a
             structure.  build in (or round or up) surround with houses etc.;
             block up.  build on add (an extension etc.).  build up 1
             increase in size or strength.  2 praise; boost.  3 gradually
             become established.  build-up n.  1 a favourable description in
             advance; publicity.  2 a gradual approach to a climax or maximum
             (the build-up was slow but sure).  built-in 1 forming an
             integral part of a structure.  2 forming an integral part of a
             person's character (built-in integrity).  built on sand
             unstable.  built-up 1 (of a locality) densely covered by houses
             etc.  2 increased in height etc. by the addition of parts.  3
             composed of separately prepared parts.  [OE byldan f.  bold
             dwelling f. Gmc: cf.  BOWER(1), BOOTH]

   builder   n.  1 a contractor for building houses etc.; a master builder.
             2 a person engaged as a bricklayer etc. on a building site.

   building  n.  1 a permanent fixed structure forming an enclosure and
             providing protection from the elements etc. (e.g. a house,
             school, factory, or stable).  2 the constructing of such
             structures.  Ьbuilding line a limit or boundary between a house
             and a street beyond which the owner may not build.  building
             site an area before or during the construction of a house etc.
             building society Brit.  a public finance company which accepts
             investments at interest and lends capital for mortgages on
             houses etc.

   built     past and past part. of BUILD.

   bulb      n.  1 a an underground fleshy-leaved storage organ of some
             plants (e.g. lily, onion) sending roots downwards and leaves
             upwards.  b a plant grown from this, e.g. a daffodil.  2 =
             light-bulb (see LIGHT(1)).  3 any object or part shaped like a
             bulb.  [L bulbus f. Gk bolbos onion]

   bulbous   adj.  1 shaped like a bulb; fat or bulging.  2 having a bulb or
             bulbs.  3 (of a plant) growing from a bulb.

   bulbul    n.  1 any songbird of the family Pycnonotidae, of dull plumage
             with contrasting bright patches.  2 a singer or poet.  [Pers. f.
             Arab., of imit. orig.]

   Bulgar    n.  1 a member of a tribe who settled in what is now Bulgaria in
             the 7th c.  2 a Bulgarian.  [med.L Bulgarus f. OBulg.

   bulgar    var. of BULGUR.

   Bulgarian n. & adj.  --n.  1 a a native or national of Bulgaria.  b a
             person of Bulgarian descent.  2 the language of Bulgaria.
             --adj. of or relating to Bulgaria or its people or language.
             [med.L Bulgaria f.  Bulgarus: see BULGAR]

   bulge     n. & v.  --n.  1 a a convex part of an otherwise flat or flatter
             surface.  b an irregular swelling; a lump.  2 colloq. a
             temporary increase in quantity or number (baby bulge).  3 Naut.
             the bilge of a ship.  4 Mil. a salient.  --v.  1 intr. swell
             outwards.  2 intr. be full or replete.  3 tr. swell (a bag,
             cheeks, etc.) by stuffing.  Ьhave (or get) the bulge on sl.
             have or get an advantage over.  ЬЬbulgingly adv.  bulgy adj.
             [ME f. OF boulge, bouge f. L bulga: see BUDGET]

   bulgur    n.  (also bulgar, bulghur) a cereal food of whole wheat
             partially boiled then dried, eaten esp. in Turkey.  [Turk.]

             n.  esp.  US = BULIMIA 2.  ЬЬbulimarexic adj. & n.  [BULIMIA +

   bulimia   n.  Med.  1 insatiable overeating.  2 (in full bulimia nervosa)
             an emotional disorder in which bouts of extreme overeating are
             followed by depression and self-induced vomiting, purging, or
             fasting.  ЬЬbulimic adj. & n.  [mod.L f. Gk boulimia f.  bous ox
             + limos hunger]

   bulk      n. & v.  --n.  1 a size; magnitude (esp. large).  b a large
             mass, body, or person.  c a large quantity.  2 a large shape,
             body, or person (jacket barely covered his bulk).  3 (usu. prec.
             by the; treated as pl.) the greater part or number (the bulk of
             the applicants are women).  4 roughage.  5 Naut. cargo, esp.
             unpackaged.  --v.  1 intr. seem in respect of size or importance
             (bulks large in his reckoning).  2 tr. make (a book, a textile
             yarn, etc.) seem thicker by suitable treatment (bulked it with
             irrelevant stories).  3 tr. combine (consignments etc.).  Ьbreak
             bulk begin unloading (cargo).  bulk-buying 1 buying in large
             amounts at a discount.  2 the purchase by one buyer of all or
             most of a producer's output.  in bulk 1 in large quantities.  2
             (of a cargo) loose, not packaged.  [sense 'cargo' f. OIcel.
             bЈlki; sense 'mass' etc. perh. alt. f. obs.  bouk (cf.

   bulkhead  n.  an upright partition separating the compartments in a ship,
             aircraft, vehicle, etc.  [bulk stall f. ON b lkr + HEAD]

   bulky     adj.  (bulkier, bulkiest) 1 taking up much space, large.  2
             awkwardly large, unwieldy.  ЬЬbulkily adv.  bulkiness n.

   bull(1)   n., adj., & v.  --n.  1 a an uncastrated male bovine animal.  b
             a male of the whale, elephant, and other large animals.  2 (the
             Bull) the zodiacal sign or constellation Taurus.  3 Brit. the
             bull's-eye of a target.  4 Stock Exch. a person who buys shares
             hoping to sell them at a higher price later (cf.  BEAR(2)).
             --adj. like that of a bull (bull neck).  --v.  1 tr. & intr. act
             or treat violently.  2 Stock Exch.  a intr. speculate for a
             rise.  b tr. raise price of (stocks, etc.).  Ьbull ant Austral.
             = bulldog ant.  bull at a gate a hasty or rash person.
             bull-fiddle US colloq.  a double-bass.  bull-horn a megaphone.
             bull in a china shop a reckless or clumsy person.  bull market a
             market with shares rising in price.  bull-nose (or -nosed) with
             rounded end.  bull session US an informal group discussion.
             bull's-eye 1 the centre of a target.  2 a large hard
             peppermint-flavoured sweet.  3 a hemisphere or thick disc of
             glass in a ship's deck or side to admit light.  4 a small
             circular window.  5 a a hemispherical lens.  b a lantern fitted
             with this.  6 a boss of glass at the centre of a blown glass
             sheet.  bull-terrier 1 a short-haired dog of a breed that is a
             cross between a bulldog and a terrier.  2 this breed.  take the
             bull by the horns face danger or challenge boldly.  ЬЬbullish
             adj.  [ME f. ON boli = MLG, MDu bulle]

   bull(2)   n.  a papal edict.  [ME f. OF bulle f. L bulla rounded object,
             in med.L 'seal']

   bull(3)   n.  1 (also Irish bull) an expression containing a contradiction
             in terms or implying ludicrous inconsistency.  2 sl.  a
             unnecessary routine tasks or discipline.  b nonsense.  c trivial
             or insincere talk or writing.  d US a bad blunder (cf.
             BULLSHIT).  [17th c.: orig. unkn.]

   bullace   n.  a thorny shrub, Prunus insititia, bearing globular yellow or
             purple-black fruits, of which the damson is the cultivated form.
             [ME f. OF buloce, beloce]

   bulldog   n.  1 a a dog of a sturdy powerful breed with a large head and
             smooth hair.  b this breed.  2 a tenacious and courageous
             person.  Ьbulldog ant Austral.  a large ant with a powerful
             sting.  bulldog clip a strong sprung clip for papers.

   bulldoze  v.tr.  1 clear with a bulldozer.  2 colloq.  a intimidate.  b
             make (one's way) forcibly.

   bulldozer n.  1 a powerful tractor with a broad curved vertical blade at
             the front for clearing ground.  2 a forceful and domineering
             person.  [bulldose (or - doze) US = intimidate, f.  BULL(1):
             second element uncert.]

   bullet    n.  a small round or cylindrical missile with a pointed end,
             fired from a rifle, revolver, etc.  Ьbullet-headed having a
             round head.  [F boulet, boulette dimin. of boule ball f. L bulla

   bulletin  n.  1 a short official statement of news.  2 a regular list of
             information etc. issued by an organization or society.
             Ьbulletin-board US a notice-board.  [F f. It.  bullettino dimin.
             of bulletta passport, dimin. of bulla seal, BULL(2)]

             adj. & v.  --adj. (of a material) designed to resist the
             penetration of bullets.  --v.tr. make bulletproof.

   bullfight n.  a sport of baiting and (usu.) killing bulls as a public
             spectacle, esp. in Spain.  ЬЬbullfighter n.  bullfighting n.

   bullfinch n.  a finch, Pyrrhula pyrrhula, with a short stout beak and
             bright plumage.

   bullfrog  n.  a large frog, Rana catesbiana, native to N. America, with a
             bellowing croak.

   bullhead  n.  any of various marine fishes with large flattened heads.

             adj.  obstinate; impetuous; blundering.  ЬЬbull-headedly adv.
             bull-headedness n.

   bullion   n.  a metal (esp. gold or silver) in bulk before coining, or
             valued by weight.  [AF = mint, var. of OF bouillon ult. f. L
             bullire boil]

   bullish   adj.  1 like a bull, esp. in temper.  2 Stock Exch. causing or
             associated with a rise in prices.

   bullock   n. & v.  --n. a castrated bull.  --v.intr. (often foll. by at)
             Austral.  colloq. work very hard.  [OE bulluc, dimin. of

   bullocky  n.  Austral. & NZ colloq.  a bullock-driver.

   bullring  n.  an arena for bullfights.

   bullshit  n. & v.  coarse sl.  --n.  1 (often as int.) nonsense, rubbish.
             2 trivial or insincere talk or writing.  --v.intr.  (-shitted,
             -shitting) talk nonsense; bluff.  ЬЬbullshitter n.  [BULL(3) +

   bulltrout n.  Brit.  a salmon trout.

   bully(1)  n. & v.  --n.  (pl.  -ies) a person who uses strength or power
             to coerce others by fear.  --v.tr.  (-ies, -ied) 1 persecute or
             oppress by force or threats.  2 (foll. by into + verbal noun)
             pressure or coerce (a person) to do something (bullied him into
             agreeing).  Ьbully-boy a hired ruffian.  [orig. as a term of
             endearment, prob. f. MDu.  boele lover]

   bully(2)  adj. & int.  colloq.  --adj. very good; first-rate.  --int.
             (foll. by for) expressing admiration or approval, or iron.
             (bully for them!).  [perh. f BULLY(1)]

   bully(3)  n. & v. (in full bully off) --n.  (pl.  -ies) the start of play
             in hockey in which two opponents strike each other's sticks
             three times and then go for the ball.  --v.intr.  (-ies, -ied)
             start play in this way.  [19th c.: perh. f.  bully scrum in Eton
             football, of unkn. orig.]

   bully(4)  n. (in full bully beef) corned beef.  [F bouilli boiled beef f.
             bouillir BOIL(1)]

   bullyrag  var. of BALLYRAG.

   bully tree
             n.  = BALATA.  [corrupt.]

   bulrush   n.  1 = reed-mace (see REED(1)).  2 a rushlike water-plant,
             Scirpus lacustris, used for weaving.  3 Bibl. a papyrus plant.
             [perh. f.  BULL(1) = large, coarse, as in bullfrog, bulltrout,

   bulwark   n.  1 a defensive wall, esp. of earth; a rampart; a mole or
             breakwater.  2 a person, principle, etc., that acts as a
             defence.  3 (usu. in pl.) a ship's side above deck.  [ME f. MLG,
             MDu.  bolwerk: see BOLE(1), WORK]

   bum(1)    n.  Brit.  sl.  the buttocks.  Ьbum-bailiff hist.  a bailiff
             empowered to collect debts or arrest debtors for non-payment.
             bum-boat any small boat plying with provisions etc. for ships.
             bum-sucker sl.  a toady.  bum-sucking toadying.  [ME bom, of
             unkn. orig.]

   bum(2)    n., v., & adj.  US sl.  --n. a habitual loafer or tramp; a lazy
             dissolute person.  --v.  (bummed, bumming) 1 intr. (often foll.
             by about, around) loaf or wander around; be a bum.  2 tr. get by
             begging; cadge.  --attrib.adj. of poor quality.  Ьbum rap
             imprisonment on a false charge.  bum's rush forcible ejection.
             bum steer false information.  on the bum vagrant, begging.
             [prob. abbr. or back-form. f.  BUMMER]

   bumble    v.intr.  1 (foll. by on) speak in a rambling incoherent way.  2
             (often as bumbling adj.) move or act ineptly; blunder.  3 make a
             buzz or hum.  ЬЬbumbler n.  [BOOM(1) + -LE(4): partly f.  bumble
             = blunderer]

             n.  any large loud humming bee of the genus Bombus.  [as BUMBLE]

   bumf      n.  (also bumph) Brit.  colloq.  1 usu.  derog. papers,
             documents.  2 lavatory paper.  [abbr. of bum-fodder]

   bummalo   n.  (pl. same) a small fish, Harpodon nehereus, of S. Asian
             coasts, dried and used as food (see BOMBAY DUCK).  [perh. f.
             Marathi bombil(a)]

   bummer    n.  US sl.  1 an idler; a loafer.  2 an unpleasant occurrence.
             [19th c.: perh. f. G Bummler]

   bump      n., v., & adv.  --n.  1 a dull-sounding blow or collision.  2 a
             swelling or dent caused by this.  3 an uneven patch on a road,
             field, etc.  4 Phrenol. any of various prominences on the skull
             thought to indicate different mental faculties.  5 (in
             narrow-river races where boats make a spaced start one behind
             another) the point at which a boat begins to overtake (and usu.
             touches) the boat ahead, thereby defeating it.  6 Aeron.  a an
             irregularity in an aircraft's motion.  b a rising air current
             causing this.  --v.  1 a tr. hit or come against with a bump.  b
             intr. (of two objects) collide.  2 intr. (foll. by against,
             into) hit with a bump; collide with.  3 tr. (often foll. by
             against, on) hurt or damage by striking (bumped my head on the
             ceiling; bumped the car while parking).  4 intr. (usu. foll. by
             along) move or travel with much jolting (we bumped along the
             road).  5 tr. (in a boat-race) gain a bump against.  6 tr.  US
             displace, esp. by seniority.  --adv. with a bump; suddenly;
             violently.  Ьbump into colloq.  meet by chance.  bump off sl.
             murder.  bump up colloq.  increase (prices etc.).  [16th c.,
             imit.: perh. f. Scand.]

   bumper    n.  1 a horizontal bar or strip fixed across the front or back
             of a motor vehicle to reduce damage in a collision or as a trim.
             2 (usu.  attrib.) an unusually large or fine example (a bumper
             crop).  3 Cricket a ball rising high after pitching.  4 a
             brim-full glass of wine etc.  Ьbumper car = DODGEM.

   bumph     var. of BUMF.

   bumpkin   n.  a rustic or socially inept person.  [perh. Du.  boomken
             little tree or MDu.  bommekijn little barrel]

   bumptious adj.  offensively self-assertive or conceited.  ЬЬbumptiously
             adv.  bumptiousness n.  [BUMP, after FRACTIOUS]

   bumpy     adj.  (bumpier, bumpiest) 1 having many bumps (a bumpy road).  2
             affected by bumps (a bumpy ride).  ЬЬbumpily adv.  bumpiness n.

   bun       n.  1 a small usu. sweetened bread roll or cake, often with
             dried fruit.  2 Sc. a rich fruit cake or currant bread.  3 hair
             worn in the shape of a bun.  Ьbun fight Brit.  sl.  a tea party.
             have a bun in the oven sl.  be pregnant.  hot cross bun a bun
             marked with a cross, traditionally eaten on Good Friday.  [ME:
             orig. unkn.]

   buna      n.  a synthetic rubber made by polymerization of butadiene.  [G
             (as BUTADIENE, natrium sodium)]

   bunch     n. & v.  --n.  1 a cluster of things growing or fastened
             together (bunch of grapes; bunch of keys).  2 a collection; a
             set or lot (best of the bunch).  3 colloq. a group; a gang.
             --v.  1 tr. make into a bunch or bunches; gather into close
             folds.  2 intr. form into a group or crowd.  Ьbunch grass a N.
             American grass that grows in clumps.  bunch of fives sl.  a
             fist.  ЬЬbunchy adj.  [ME: orig. unkn.]

   bunco     n. & v.  US sl.  --n.  (pl.  -os) a swindle, esp. by
             card-sharping or a confidence trick.  --v.tr.  (-oes, -oed)
             swindle, cheat.  [perh. f. Sp.  banca a card-game]

   buncombe  var. of BUNKUM.

   Bundesrat n.  the Upper House of Parliament in the Federal Republic of
             Germany or in Austria.  [G f.  Bund federation + Rat council]

   Bundestag n.  the Lower House of Parliament in the Federal Republic of
             Germany.  [G f.  Bund federation + tagen confer]

   bundle    n. & v.  --n.  1 a collection of things tied or fastened
             together.  2 a set of nerve fibres etc. banded together.  3 sl.
             a large amount of money.  --v.  1 tr. (usu. foll. by up) tie in
             or make into a bundle (bundled up my squash kit).  2 tr. (usu.
             foll. by into) throw or push, esp. quickly or confusedly
             (bundled the papers into the drawer).  3 tr. (usu. foll. by out,
             off, away, etc.) send (esp. a person) away hurriedly or
             unceremoniously (bundled them off the premises).  4 intr. sleep
             clothed with another person, esp. a fianc‚(e), as a local
             custom.  Ьbe a bundle of nerves (or prejudices etc) be extremely
             nervous (or prejudiced etc.).  bundle up dress warmly or
             cumbersomely.  go a bundle on sl.  be very fond of.  ЬЬbundler
             n.  [ME, perh. f. OE byndelle a binding, but also f. LG, Du

   bung(1)   n. & v.  --n. a stopper for closing a hole in a container, esp.
             a cask.  --v.tr.  1 stop with a bung.  2 Brit.  sl. throw, toss.
             Ьbunged up closed, blocked.  bung-hole a hole for filling or
             emptying a cask etc.  [MDu.  bonghe]

   bung(2)   adj.  Austral. & NZ sl.  dead; ruined, useless.  Ьgo bung 1 die.
             2 fail; go bankrupt.  [Aboriginal]

   bungalow  n.  a one-storeyed house.  [Gujarati bangalo f. Hind.  bangla
             belonging to Bengal]

   bungle    v. & n.  --v.  1 tr. blunder over, mismanage, or fail at (a
             task).  2 intr. work badly or clumsily.  --n. a bungled attempt;
             bungled work.  ЬЬbungler n.  [imit.: cf.  BUMBLE]

   bunion    n.  a swelling on the foot, esp. at the first joint of the big
             toe.  [OF buignon f.  buigne bump on the head]

   bunk(1)   n.  a sleeping-berth, esp. a shelflike bed against a wall, e.g.
             in a ship.  Ьbunk-bed each of two or more beds one above the
             other, forming a unit.  bunk-house a house where workmen etc.
             are lodged.  [18th c.: orig. unkn.]

   bunk(2)   n.  Ьdo a bunk Brit.  sl.  leave or abscond hurriedly.  [19th
             c.: orig. unkn.]

   bunk(3)   n.  sl.  nonsense, humbug.  [abbr. of BUNKUM]

   bunker    n. & v.  --n.  1 a large container or compartment for storing
             fuel.  2 a reinforced underground shelter, esp. for use in
             wartime.  3 a hollow filled with sand, used as an obstacle in a
             golf-course.  --v.tr.  1 fill the fuel bunkers of (a ship etc.).
             2 (usu. in passive) a trap in a bunker (in sense 3).  b bring
             into difficulties.  [19th c.: orig. unkn.]

   bunkum    n.  (also buncombe) nonsense; humbug.  [orig.  buncombe f.
             Buncombe County in N. Carolina, mentioned in a nonsense speech
             by its Congressman, c.1820]

   bunny     n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 a child's name for a rabbit.  2 Austral.  sl.
             a victim or dupe.  3 (in full bunny girl) a club hostess,
             waitress, etc., wearing a skimpy costume with ears and a tail
             suggestive of a rabbit.  [dial.  bun rabbit]

   Bunsen burner
             n.  a small adjustable gas burner used in scientific work as a
             source of great heat.  [R. W.  Bunsen, Ger. chemist d. 1899]

   bunt(1)   n.  the baggy centre of a fishing-net, sail, etc.  [16th c.:
             orig. unkn.]

   bunt(2)   n.  a disease of wheat caused by the fungus Tilletia caries.
             [18th c.: orig. unkn.]

   bunt(3)   v. & n.  --v.  1 tr. & intr. push with the head or horns; butt.
             2 tr.  US Baseball stop (a ball) with the bat without swinging.
             --n. an act of bunting.  [19th c.: cf.  BUTT(1)]

   buntal    n.  the straw from a talipot palm.  [Tagalog]

             n.  any of numerous seed-eating birds of the family Emberizidae,
             related to the finches and sparrows.  [ME: orig. unkn.]

             n.  1 flags and other decorations.  2 a loosely-woven fabric
             used for these.  [18th c.: orig. unkn.]

   buntline  n.  a line for confining the bunt (see BUNT(1)) when furling a

   bunya     n.  (also bunya bunya) Austral.  a tall coniferous tree,
             Araucaria bidwillii, bearing large nutritious cones.

   bunyip    n.  Austral.  1 a fabulous monster inhabiting swamps and
             lagoons.  2 an imposter.  [Aboriginal]

   buoy      n. & v.  --n.  1 an anchored float serving as a navigation mark
             or to show reefs etc.  2 a lifebuoy.  --v.tr.  1 (usu. foll. by
             up) a keep afloat.  b sustain the courage or spirits of (a
             person etc.); uplift, encourage.  2 (often foll. by out) mark
             with a buoy or buoys.  [ME prob. f. MDu.  bo(e)ye, ult. f. L
             boia collar f. Gk boeiai ox-hides]

   buoyancy  n.  1 the capacity to be or remain buoyant.  2 resilience;
             recuperative power.  3 cheerfulness.

   buoyant   adj.  1 a able or apt to keep afloat or rise to the top of a
             liquid or gas.  b (of a liquid or gas) able to keep something
             afloat.  2 light-hearted.  ЬЬbuoyantly adv.  [F buoyant or Sp.
             boyante part. of boyar float f.  boya BUOY]

   bur       n.  (also burr) 1 a a prickly clinging seed-case or flower-head.
             b any plant producing these.  2 a person hard to shake off.  3 =
             BURR n.  2.  Ьbur oak a N. American oak, Quercus macrocarpa with
             large fringed acorn-cups.  [ME: cf. Da.  burre bur, burdock, Sw.
             kard-borre burdock]

   burble    v. & n.  --v.intr.  1 speak ramblingly; make a murmuring noise.
             2 Aeron. (of an air-flow) break up into turbulence.  --n.  1 a
             murmuring noise.  2 rambling speech.  ЬЬburbler n.  [19th c.:

   burbot    n.  an eel-like flat-headed bearded freshwater fish, Lota lota.
             [ME: cf. OF barbote]

   burden    n. & v.  --n.  1 a load, esp. a heavy one.  2 an oppressive
             duty, obligation, expense, emotion, etc.  3 the bearing of loads
             (beast of burden).  4 (also archaic burthen) a ship's
             carrying-capacity, tonnage.  5 a the refrain or chorus of a
             song.  b the chief theme or gist of a speech, book, poem, etc.
             --v.tr. load with a burden; encumber, oppress.  Ьburden of proof
             the obligation to prove one's case.  ЬЬburdensome adj.  [OE
             byrthen: rel. to BIRTH]

   burdock   n.  any plant of the genus Arctium, with prickly flowers and
             docklike leaves.  [BUR + DOCK(3)]

   bureau    n.  (pl.  bureaux or bureaus) 1 a Brit. a writing-desk with
             drawers and usu. an angled top opening downwards to form a
             writing surface.  b US a chest of drawers.  2 a an office or
             department for transacting specific business.  b a government
             department.  [F, = desk, orig. its baize covering, f. OF burel
             f.  bure, buire dark brown ult. f. Gk purros red]

             n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 a government by central administration.  b a
             State or organization so governed.  2 the officials of such a
             government, esp. regarded as oppressive and inflexible.  3
             conduct typical of such officials.  [F bureaucratie: see BUREAU]

             n.  1 an official in a bureaucracy.  2 an inflexible or
             insensitive administrator.  ЬЬbureaucratic adj.
             bureaucratically adv.  [F bureaucrate (as BUREAUCRACY)]

             v.tr.  (also -ise) govern by or transform into a bureaucratic
             system.  ЬЬbureaucratization n.

   burette   n.  (US buret) a graduated glass tube with an end-tap for
             measuring small volumes of liquid in chemical analysis.  [F]

   burg      n.  US colloq.  a town or city.  [see BOROUGH]

   burgage   n.  hist.  (in England and Scotland) tenure of land in a town on
             a yearly rent.  [ME f. med.L burgagium f.  burgus BOROUGH]

   burgee    n.  a triangular or swallow-tailed flag bearing the colours or
             emblem of a sailing-club.  [18th c.: perh. = (ship)owner, ult. F
             bourgeois: see BURGESS]

   burgeon   v. & n.  literary --v.intr.  1 begin to grow rapidly; flourish.
             2 put forth young shoots; bud.  --n. a bud or young shoot.  [ME
             f. OF bor-, burjon ult. f. LL burra wool]

   burger    n.  1 colloq. a hamburger.  2 (in comb.) a certain kind of
             hamburger or variation of it (beefburger; nutburger).  [abbr.]

   burgess   n.  1 Brit. an inhabitant of a town or borough, esp. of one with
             full municipal rights.  2 Brit.  hist. a Member of Parliament
             for a borough, corporate town, or university.  3 US a borough
             magistrate or governor.  [ME f. OF burgeis ult. f. LL burgus

   burgh     n.  hist.  a Scottish borough or chartered town.  °This status
             was abolished in 1975.  ЬЬburghal adj.  [Sc. form of BOROUGH]

   burgher   n.  1 a citizen or freeman, esp. of a Continental town.  2
             S.Afr.  hist. a citizen of a Boer republic.  3 a descendant of a
             Dutch or Portuguese colonist in Sri Lanka.  [G Burger or Du.
             burger f.  Burg, burg BOROUGH]

   burglar   n.  a person who commits burglary.  ЬЬburglarious adj.  [legal
             AF burgler, rel. to OF burgier pillage]

             v.tr. & intr.  (also -ise) US = BURGLE.

   burglary  n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 entry into a building illegally with intent to
             commit theft, do bodily harm, or do damage.  2 an instance of
             this.  °Before 1968 in English law a crime under statute and in
             common law; after 1968 a statutory crime only (cf.
             HOUSEBREAKING).  [legal AF burglarie: see BURGLAR]

   burgle    v.  1 tr. commit burglary on (a building or person).  2 intr.
             commit burglary.  [back-form. f BURGLAR]

             n.  the mayor of a Dutch or Flemish town.  [Du.  burgemeester f.
             burg BOROUGH: assim. to MASTER]

   burgrave  n.  hist.  the ruler of a town or castle.  [G Burggraf f.  Burg
             BOROUGH + Graf COUNT(2)]

   burgundy  n.  (pl.  -ies) 1 a the wine (usu. red) of Burgundy in E.
             France.  b a similar wine from another place.  2 the red colour
             of Burgundy wine.

   burhel    var. of BHARAL.

   burial    n.  1 a the burying of a dead body.  b a funeral.  2 Archaeol. a
             grave or its remains.  Ьburial-ground a cemetery.  [ME, erron.
             formed as sing. of OE byrgels f. Gmc: rel. to BURY]

   burin     n.  1 a steel tool for engraving on copper or wood.  2 Archaeol.
             a flint tool with a chisel point.  [F]

   burk      var. of BERK.

   burka     n.  a long enveloping garment worn in public by Muslim women.
             [Hind. f. Arab.  burka']

   Burkitt's lymphoma
             n.  Med.  a malignant tumour of the lymphatic system, esp.
             affecting children of Central Africa.  [D. P.  Burkitt, Brit.
             surgeon b. 1911]

   burl      n.  1 a knot or lump in wool or cloth.  2 US a flattened knotty
             growth on a tree.  [ME f. OF bourle tuft of wool, dimin. of
             bourre coarse wool f. LL burra wool]

   burlap    n.  1 coarse canvas esp. of jute used for sacking etc.  2 a
             similar lighter material for use in dressmaking or furnishing.
             [17th c.: orig. unkn.]

   burlesque n., adj., & v.  --n.  1 a comic imitation, esp. in parody of a
             dramatic or literary work.  b a performance or work of this
             kind.  c bombast, mock-seriousness.  2 US a variety show, often
             including striptease.  --adj. of or in the nature of burlesque.
             --v.tr.  (burlesques, burlesqued, burlesquing) make or give a
             burlesque of.  ЬЬburlesquer n.  [F f. It.  burlesco f.  burla

   burly     adj.  (burlier, burliest) of stout sturdy build; big and strong.
             ЬЬburliness n.  [ME borli prob. f. an OE form = 'fit for the
             bower' (BOWER(1))]

   Burman    adj. & n.  (pl.  Burmans) = BURMESE.

   Burmese   n. & adj.  --n.  (pl. same) 1 a a native or national of Burma
             (now Myanmar) in SE Asia.  b a person of Burmese descent.  2 a
             member of the largest ethnic group of Burma.  3 the language of
             this group.  --adj. of or relating to Burma or its people or

   burn(1)   v. & n.  --v.  (past and past part.  burnt or burned) 1 tr. &
             intr. be or cause to be consumed or destroyed by fire.  2 intr.
             a blaze or glow with fire.  b be in the state characteristic of
             fire.  3 tr. & intr. be or cause to be injured or damaged by
             fire or great heat or by radiation.  4 tr. & intr. use or be
             used as a source of heat, light, or other energy.  5 tr. & intr.
             char or scorch in cooking (burned the vegetables; the vegetables
             are burning).  6 tr. produce (a hole, a mark, etc.) by fire or
             heat.  7 tr.  a subject (clay, chalk, etc.) to heat for a
             purpose.  b harden (bricks) by fire.  c make (lime or charcoal)
             by heat.  8 tr. colour, tan, or parch with heat or light (we
             were burnt brown by the sun).  9 tr. & intr. put or be put to
             death by fire.  10 tr.  a cauterize, brand.  b (foll. by in)
             imprint by burning.  11 tr. & intr. make or be hot, give or feel
             a sensation or pain of or like heat.  12 tr. & intr. (often
             foll. by with) make or be passionate; feel or cause to feel
             great emotion (burn with shame).  13 intr.  sl. drive fast.  14
             tr.  US sl. anger, infuriate.  15 intr. (foll. by into) (of acid
             etc.) gradually penetrate (into) causing disintegration.  --n.
             1 a mark or injury caused by burning.  2 the ignition of a
             rocket engine in flight, giving extra thrust.  3 US, Austral., &
             NZ a forest area cleared by burning.  4 sl. a cigarette.  5 sl.
             a car race.  Ьburn one's boats (or bridges) commit oneself
             irrevocably.  burn the candle at both ends exhaust one's
             strength or resources by undertaking too much.  burn down 1 a
             destroy (a building) by burning.  b (of a building) be destroyed
             by fire.  2 burn less vigorously as fuel fails.  burn one's
             fingers suffer for meddling or rashness.  burn a hole in one's
             pocket (of money) be quickly spent.  burning-glass a lens for
             concentrating the sun's rays on an object to burn it.  burn low
             (of fire) be nearly out.  burn the midnight oil read or work
             late into the night.  burn out 1 be reduced to nothing by
             burning.  2 fail or cause to fail by burning.  3 (usu.  refl.)
             esp.  US suffer physical or emotional exhaustion.  4 consume the
             contents of by burning.  5 make (a person) homeless by burning
             his or her house.  burn-out n.  US 1 physical or emotional
             exhaustion, esp. caused by stress.  2 depression,
             disillusionment.  burnt ochre (or sienna or umber) a pigment
             darkened by burning.  burnt offering 1 an offering burnt on an
             altar as a sacrifice.  2 joc. overcooked food.  burnt-out
             physically or emotionally exhausted.  burn up 1 get rid of by
             fire.  2 begin to blaze.  3 US sl. be or make furious.  have
             money to burn have more money than one needs.  [OE birnan,